FDA Lowers Age for Plan B to 15 Without Prescription - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

FDA Lowers Age for Plan B to 15 Without Prescription

Posted: Updated:

SALISBURY, Md.- A controversial FDA decision puts the morning after pill in the hands of females as young as 15-years-old, without the need for a prescription or parental involvement.

Plan B, as it is formally known, is available behind the counter to those 17 and older. But the FDA has decided the pill should be sold right on store shelves, and is lowering the age limit to buy it down to 15.

Last month, a federal judge ordered the FDA get rid of age restrictions entirely on Plan B within 30 days. The agency said its decision to reduce the age for the pill has nothing to do with that ruling. Soon, all you will need to get the morning after pill is an ID proving you are 15 or older.

The change is eliciting many opinions as to whether or not it is a good idea.

Anissa Villella is a young single mother of a 2-year-old girl. She thinks reducing the age for the morning after pill, without a prescription, makes sense.

"Not all parents sign their kids up to get birth control, and not all kids or teenagers want their parents to know they're having intercourse," Villella said. "So, if they do slip up, it will be a plus for them and their parents."

Others, like Kara Markoya, a teacher at Central Delaware Christian Academy, disagree.

"I think it's awful" she noted. "I think that all humans have the right to live, if they're small or not. I teach little children and they're all special and precious and it's sad that some won't get a chance to live."

According to the FDA, Plan B does not terminate an existing pregnancy. Instead, it works by preventing ovulation or fertilization, if taken within three days of having unprotected sex.

"Fifteen-year-old's shouldn't be having sex anyways, so it's probably a bad idea," remarked Amanda Knock of Salisbury.

"With girls becoming younger and younger, having sex earlier and earlier, it would be a great idea," countered Charlie Seabright.

Some in the medical community say allowing girls as young as 15 to buy the pill comes with pros and cons.

"It certainly has the potential to avoid a number of unwanted pregnancies," explained Melissa Beatty Johnson, COO of Milford Street and Riverside pharmacies. "But it doesn't address the risk of STD's, and it doesn't address the issue that young women need to be talking with parents and at least with medical professionals about contraception and keeping themselves safe when they're sexually active."

The new requirements should take effect in a few months. 

The ruling applies only to Plan B and not other forms of emergency contraception. Other brands will still be kept behind the counter and require a prescription for anyone under 17.

Back in 2011, the FDA tried to get rid of any kind of age requirement for Plan B. The agency was overruled, however, for the first time in history by the Health and Human Services Secretary. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said more work needed to be done studying whether the pill is safe for all ages.

According to Melissa Beatty Johnson, there are risks with Plan B.

"While the product will come with warnings, as a non-prescription item, you can go into a pharmacy and purchase it as needed," she noted. "That does raise the potential that it will be used too often or inappropriately. It is intended as an emergency contraceptive, not as a regular form of birth control. So, it really can be hard on the system."

Last month's ruling by a federal judge was that there be no age requirement for the Plan B pill. This would take effect May 5, and no action has yet been taken, which has the potential to impact Tuesday's FDA decision.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Maryland Comptroller Looking to Help Local Breweries

    Maryland Comptroller Looking to Help Local Breweries

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 11:53 PM EDT2017-06-28 03:53:23 GMT
    Tuesday, June 27 2017 11:53 PM EDT2017-06-28 03:53:23 GMT
    Amy Lu PhotoAmy Lu Photo

    Local brewers facing a bill that limits the way they do business may soon get some relief.

    More

    Local brewers facing a bill that limits the way they do business may soon get some relief.

    More
  • Official: 90-Year-Old Escaped Md. Jail in 1970 by Walking Away

    Official: 90-Year-Old Escaped Md. Jail in 1970 by Walking Away

    Wednesday, June 28 2017 1:26 PM EDT2017-06-28 17:26:28 GMT
    Wednesday, June 28 2017 1:26 PM EDT2017-06-28 17:26:28 GMT

    An official says a 90-year-old man who has been indicted for fraud after spending more than 40 years on the lam escaped from a detention facility in Wicomico County, Maryland in 1970 by simply walking away.

    More

    An official says a 90-year-old man who has been indicted for fraud after spending more than 40 years on the lam escaped from a detention facility in Wicomico County, Maryland in 1970 by simply walking away.

    More
  • Fourth of July Fireworks on Delmarva 2017

    Fourth of July Fireworks on Delmarva 2017

    Wednesday, June 28 2017 10:23 AM EDT2017-06-28 14:23:33 GMT
    Wednesday, June 28 2017 1:10 PM EDT2017-06-28 17:10:48 GMT

    Looking for a place to watch the fireworks this Independence Day? Click on "more" for a list of dates, times and locations of Fourth of July events being held this year across Delmarva. 

    More

    Looking for a place to watch the fireworks this Independence Day? Click on "more" for a list of dates, times and locations of Fourth of July events being held this year across Delmarva. 

    More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Harrington Woman Arrested for Theft at Her Workplace

    Harrington Woman Arrested for Theft at Her Workplace

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 1:55 PM EDT2017-06-27 17:55:30 GMT
    Tuesday, June 27 2017 2:04 PM EDT2017-06-27 18:04:16 GMT

    Milford police said Tuesday that a Harrington woman was arrested for theft after she stole money from her employer over a several month period. 

    More

    Milford police said Tuesday that a Harrington woman was arrested for theft after she stole money from her employer over a several month period. 

    More
  • Person Killed in Seaford Trailer Fire

    Person Killed in Seaford Trailer Fire

    Wednesday, June 28 2017 12:15 AM EDT2017-06-28 04:15:15 GMT
    Wednesday, June 28 2017 12:15 AM EDT2017-06-28 04:15:15 GMT

    A person was found dead inside of a trailer fire in Seaford on Tuesday night, according to the Delaware State Fire Marshal. 

    More

    A person was found dead inside of a trailer fire in Seaford on Tuesday night, according to the Delaware State Fire Marshal. 

    More
  • Man Killed in Dover Double Shooting

    Man Killed in Dover Double Shooting

    Wednesday, June 28 2017 9:16 AM EDT2017-06-28 13:16:17 GMT
    Wednesday, June 28 2017 9:51 AM EDT2017-06-28 13:51:06 GMT

    Dover police are investigating a shooting that killed a 21-year-old man and left a 25-year-old man with injuries on Tuesday night.

    More

    Dover police are investigating a shooting that killed a 21-year-old man and left a 25-year-old man injured on Tuesday night.

    More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Devastating Fire Destroyed the Old Wicomico Youth & Civic Center 40 Years Ago Tuesday

    Devastating Fire Destroyed the Old Wicomico Youth & Civic Center 40 Years Ago Tuesday

    40 years ago Tuesday the old Wicomico Youth and Civic Center was destroyed by one of the county’s most devastating fires.

    On June 27, 1977, a floor buffer sparked a highly flammable sealant being applied and, in an instant, the community’s cherished center shot up in flames, dark smoke billowing that could be seen as far south as Princess Anne and as far north as Laurel, Del.

    More

    40 years ago Tuesday the old Wicomico Youth and Civic Center was destroyed by one of the county’s most devastating fires.

    On June 27, 1977, a floor buffer sparked a highly flammable sealant being applied and, in an instant, the community’s cherished center shot up in flames, dark smoke billowing that could be seen as far south as Princess Anne and as far north as Laurel, Del.

    More
  • Update: Arson Blamed for Building Fire in Kent County, Part 2

    Update: Arson Blamed for Building Fire in Kent County, Part 2

    Authorities say arson is to blame for a late Monday afternoon fire that broke out at a vacant building in Kent County. 

    The Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office said the fire was reported shortly before 5 p.m. by a passing motorist who observed smoke at the
    former Mike Davidson Recycling facility, located in the 3000 block of Willow Grove Road, west of Camden. (Excerpt from WBOC News at 6)

    More

    Authorities say arson is to blame for a late Monday afternoon fire that broke out at a vacant building in Kent County. 

    The Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office said the fire was reported shortly before 5 p.m. by a passing motorist who observed smoke at the
    former Mike Davidson Recycling facility, located in the 3000 block of Willow Grove Road, west of Camden. (Excerpt from WBOC News at 6)

    More
  • New Boat Ramp Opens in Ocean City

    New Boat Ramp Opens in Ocean City

    Today the blue ribbon was officially cut at the new boat ramp on 64th Street in Ocean City. Gov. Larry Hogan was joined by the town's mayor, Richard Meehan, and other city councilmen at the ceremony.

    More

    Today the blue ribbon was officially cut at the new boat ramp on 64th Street in Ocean City. Gov. Larry Hogan was joined by the town's mayor, Richard Meehan, and other city councilmen at the ceremony.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices