Another Victory For Plan B (& Women!)

by Amy McCarthy

Last year one of the most common brands of emergency contraception, Plan B, became available for over-the-counter purchase in American pharmacies after a decades-long battle to make the drug available without a prescription from a doctor.

Even after a federal judge ordered that Plan B should be available over-the-counter in pharmacies, many people still faced significant hurdles in purchasing the drug. Pharmacists were required to move the drug from behind the counter into the pharmacy aisles, but there were still plenty of reports of pharmacies that refused to stock Plan B, and of people under the age of 17 being unable to purchase the drug due to uninformed employees.

Now, buying Plan B is easier than ever, and it might be time to stock up on emergency contraceptives because you never know when you might need it. I can't tell you how long this has been the case, but a simple online search reveals that a seller called Pharmacy Consultants is offering Plan B One Step on Amazon at a steep discount from the drug’s normal price. Typically, Plan B costs about $50 per dose, and can be as expensive as $65. Today, the listed Amazon price for Plan B One Step is $16.90, or a 42 percent discount from the regular price.

Seeing Plan B on Amazon has to be a victory for reproductive justice advocates everywhere. The most significant health issue facing many women is an inability to access reproductive healthcare, largely due to the hefty price tag of birth control and abortion procedures. A low-cost option for emergency contraceptives on Amazon helps broaden that access to anyone with $20 and a computer.

It also allows young people and victims of domestic violence who need emergency contraception to buy Plan B without a nosy pharmacist, disapproving parent, or abusive partner standing over their shoulder. In a perfect world, Plan B would be free and easy to access, but at this point, I’ll take any advancement that helps young people have more control over their bodies.