In the seemingly never-ending battle for female reproductive rights, we received some good news today. The FDA will now allow generic versions of the morning-after pill, Plan B, to be sold over-the counter. And, there won't be any age restrictions regarding the purchase of the pill. (Before the change, women had to be 17 or older to purchase the generic version of the drug.)
Previously, name-brand Plan B was the only morning-after pill available without a prescription. Consumers will now have a host of more affordable options to choose from. Manufacturers of the generic versions must list on the product that it's intended for women 17 and over, but there won't be an identification check upon purchase.
Jessica Arons, president and CEO of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project discussed the change with NPR: “This is a significant leap forward in obtaining full, over-the-counter status for emergency contraception, and we commend the FDA for this decision.”
The morning-after pill prevents most pregnancies within 72 hours of unprotected sex. Unfortunately, some research suggests that the Plan B and similar drugs are most effective in women weighing less than 165 pounds. But, making emergency contraception both more widely available and more affordable is a huge step in the right direction. Want more info on how to optimally use contraceptives? Check out our guide to not messing up your birth control. (Time)