Clinics Hand Out Free "Morning After Pills"

By: Stacy McCloud
By: Stacy McCloud

Knoxville (WVLT) - After much debate, the so called morning after pill is now available without a prescription to anyone 18 and over.

The FDA approved the move back in august.

WVLT Volunteer TV's Stacy McCloud takes a look at reaction to Planned Parenthood's move to give it away for free.

Two of these tiny pills, approved by the FDA to help prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, would usually cost anywhere between $25 and $60, but on Wednesday Planned Parenthood clinics in Tennessee, only found in Nashville and Knoxville, are giving them away for free.

Their hope is that this No Cost Emergency Contraceptive Day will allow any woman who wants the pill to have it on hand just in case.

"Not having to wait until the next morning when a pharmacy opens, making sure it is readily available is the most affective way to use it," says Jeff Teague, from Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee.

If you're 18 or older, you don't need a prescription, but you will need proper identification to prove your age.

If you're under 18 you will need to see one of the nurse practitioners on hand for a consultation and prescription, but you won't need parental consent.

Jim Peck, a pharmacist at Long's says this is true at any pharmacy that sells the pill, and since selling Plan B over the counter is legal, they treat it just like any other medication.

"We are a retail business they come in for a product we sell it," says Peck.

Many religious organizations in East Tennessee already against Plan B, say Wednesday's event is just making the drug even more assessable.

Something Planned Parenthood officials say isn't a bad thing.

"We hope people understand that anything that can be done to prevent unintended pregnancy that might lead to abortion is a good thing," Teague says.

Planned Parenthood officials say since the pill must be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, they hope women in rural areas will especially take advantage of Wednesday's event, since many would have to drive to a different county to have access to the pill.


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