Plan B: Should It Be Available To All Ages?

Plan B: Should It Be Available To All Ages?

Alexandra Belevan, Writer

 All over the world, there are young women who are struggling with teen pregnancy and with abortion laws becoming stricter, it seems like they are running out of options. But can this all be preventable?

The morning after pill should be sold over the counter to young women under the age of 17 because there are a variety of physical and mental health risks that can come about an unplanned pregnancy at such a young age.

The morning after pill is an emergency birth control contraceptive that needs to be taken as soon as possible after intercourse, but it can still be effective for up to 72 hours. Taking the morning after pill can cut your chances of getting pregnant in half, so many experts say it is one of the most effective emergency contraceptives. 

Many young woman are not on birth control because they  are too scared or do not want to have that conversation with their parents that they are sexually active. Young women are especially scared  of the consequences that their parents may give them, so they would rather keep  engaging in sex in an unsafe manner. 

When it comes to the effectiveness of the pill, timing is crucial. . “ Emergency contraceptive pills, like Plan B One-Step, provide effective pregnancy prevention but people under age 17 must have a prescription to purchase them. The pills are most effective when taken promptly, so waiting for a clinic to open after the weekend can mean higher failure rates.”

\Without immediate access to the morning after pill, young women have much higher chances of pregnancy. With abortion laws becomng more strict, especially in more conservative states, young women are running out of options. According to NBC News, Idaho Legislature approved a bill to ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. A lot of women do not even know they may be pregnant that early in their pregnancy and the option of abortion vanishes thanks to these stricter laws. Idaho and Texas are two of the most scrictest states in terms on abortion, but this can only be the start. 

If young women have easy access to the morning after pill, it can heavily drop their chances of getting pregnant which can relieve the stress of abortion. Even if women do still have access to abortion, it can still be very traumatizing to them and they can live with extreme guilt for the rest of their lives. Providing access to the morning after pill for young women under 17 can prevent a lot of these problems. 

Putting this pill over the counter can have some consequences, however. Young kids can purchase this pill for the wrong reasons and it could potentially be dangerous. But, there are other medications that are over the counter that young kids have access to too.  According to the New York Times, “There are many drugs available over the counter, like acetaminophen, that have not been studied in pre-adolescents and that are far more dangerous to them.”

Sex is inevitable, but pregnancy is not. And everything in its power should be done to make sure young women have easy access to the best and safest contraceptives.