Access to safe, reliable contraception is an essential part of basic health care. A person should have all the tools they need to stay healthy and plan for their future and their family — including access to emergency contraception.
Emergency contraception, commonly referred to as the morning-after pill, is not the “abortion pill.” By postponing ovulation before a pregnancy can occur, emergency contraception serves as a safe and effective birth control option when things don’t work out as planned. When someone fears that they could become pregnant because their contraception failed or because they had unprotected sex, they need fast, timely access to this backup birth control option.
The Rise of Over-the-Counter Emergency Contraception
Until recently, emergency contraception has been kept behind pharmacy counters, which created barriers for people of all ages because pharmacies often have long lines and shorter operating hours.
This led the Food and Drug Administration to announce an important step forward in broadening access: Plan B One-Step is available without a prescription. By removing the need for a prescription and making emergency contraception available over-the-counter, more people will be able to prevent an unintended pregnancy.