Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 5:40:14 PM

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Plan B for Younger Teens

BINGHAMTON -- It has been one week since the FDA approved Plan B One-Step emergency contraceptive for women 15 years and older without a prescription. We spoke with local pharmacists about the transition.

The Medicine Shoppe in Binghamton has ordered new stock of Plan B One-Step: the pill that is now available without prescription for women 15 and up.  So far, no one has come to the store asking about it.

"I think more people will take advantage of it," said Karen Conn, Supervising Pharmacist at The Medicine Shoppe.

Under the new FDA regulations, customers can walk in and purchase Plan B right off the shelf, as long as they show proof of age. 

"So they're not getting that talk from the pharmacist, telling them how to take it.  It's only effective if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.  I'm afraid they might come in a week later, pick up a pack, and not understand at their age that it might not be effective," said Conn.

Pharmacists say they have further concerns.

"I'm afraid kids will have a false sense of security because they'll feel like it's safe to have unprotected sex because there's a backup plan," said Conn.

But local womens' health providers think differently.

"It takes away one more barrier.  We think by lowering the age, it'll reduce the rate of unintended pregnancy even more," said Ingrid Husisian of Family Planning.

Family Planning representatives say increased access to emergency contraception could prevent nearly 2 million unwanted pregnancies and 800,000 abortions per year.

"People on both sides of the debate should be thrilled by this," said Husisian.

At family planning, there is a nurse practitioner on site to prescribe Plan-B to anyone who is underage.

Samantha McDonald, Fox 40 HD News.

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