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Mississippians React to Plan B Ruling

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 10 May 2013 04:10pm | comments

Today is the deadline for the Obama administration to respond to a judge's ruling that all forms of the emergency contraceptive pill be available to all woman and girls without age verification or restriction. Many Mississippians are skeptical of the decision to pull plan B out from behind the counter.

 The ruling, if it goes into effect, would make the emergency contraception pill, known as plan B, much more accessible by placing it on store shelves right next to condoms and other contraception rather than behind a pharmacy counter.

 Eve Espy with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist says putting plan B on store shelves would be a win for women's health and help prevent unplanned pregnancies.

 "All age limits should be removed. This is the belief of the scientific community and certainly it is the belief of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist. That again when we are looking at an epidemic of unplanned pregnancy like we are in this country, than removing all barriers to unplanned pregnancy is critical," Espy said.

 The Obama Administration had attempted to restrict access to women who are at least 15 years old but the judge rejected that offer.

 Many Mississippians say they are skeptical of making the morning after pill so easily available.

 Spencer Richie, and Catherine Hagwood are both parents with daughters and they have concerns about this issue.

 "We would hate for that sort of decision to fall on a young woman by herself and for it to be so easy," says Richie.

 "First of all, they shouldn't be making the decision to have sex in the first place. Second of all, they aren't capable of making decision like that without the help of their parents," says Hagwood.

 But not all agree.

 Leslie Palmer says more access is important.

 "Because there are so many women who are victims of rape, or sexual abuse, or incest and they need that. They need something that is going to right a wrong," Palmer said.

 Currently the Plan B is available without a prescription for women 17 and older.  The judge's ruling would greatly broaden access at Mississippi pharmacies that choose to carry the medication.

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