FDA loosens restrictions on controversial Plan B, Iowans react - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

FDA loosens restrictions on controversial Plan B, Iowans react


A controversial emergency contraceptive pill will now be more accessible.

The Food and Drug Administration has loosened the regulations on Plan B One Step meaning buyers 15 and older will now be able to purchase the "morning after pill" right from the shelf.

Previously, the minimum age was 17.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is calling it a step in the right direction.

"Nothing should stand in the way of a woman making a very personal and smart medical decision for herself," said Jill June, president and CEO of the organization.

The emergency contraceptive will soon be sold next to other contraceptives on drug store shelves.

It reduces the chances of pregnancy when taken up to three days after unprotected sex.

Now, with proof of age, girls 15 years and older will be able to purchase the pill over the counter. 

"Don't wait until there's an emergency, go get it now and put it in your medicine cabinet in case you ever need it," June said.

Many have voiced concern about the FDA's decision.

Don Nelson works as the medical director of the Christian-based pregnancy support center Bridgehaven.

Nelson not only worries about the effectiveness of the drug, but the message the FDA ruling sends.

"People feel there's an alternative when their actions lead to a problem, they're more likely to take risks," Nelson said.

Others like members of the Catholic Church, oppose emergency contraception for fundamental religious reasons.

"To think that a 15-year-old can go into a drug store and buy something off the shelf without any kind of parental involvement, is sort of sad," said Mark Ressler, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Pastor.



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