"Morning After" could become OTC

Published 04/05 2013 10:12PM

Updated 04/08 2013 03:53PM

PEORIA -- The Morning After pill may soon be available over the counter without a prescription, and a federal ruling says girls of all ages can buy it. One professional tells Eugene Daniel why she thinks it could be a problem.

Friday a federal judge gave the government 30-days to make the Plan-B pill, and pills like it, available over the counter. Girls of all ages could buy it without a prescription or adult supervision. The decision has already sparked mixed reactions.

"I don't believe a youth, a juvenile has the maturity to make that kind of decision."

"At the same time, you don't want someone who's 13, 14 years old having some little baby that they can't handle."

Denise Bailey, director of Women's Pregnancy Center, in Peoria, works with dozens of expectant moms every month. Her agency helps and educates women about pregnancy and motherhood. Bailey is worried young girls will buy the pill without any kind of guidance.

"My main concern would be for young girls not having parental involvement in the decision or medical personnel involvement."

She says there are risks taking the pill without a doctor's advice. Some girls may not know what to do if something goes wrong.

She hopes girls would know what they're doing, and, if not, here's what she would say, "We would still counsel them to slow down in the decision, to take their time and maybe talk with someone who has maybe gone through it before. Find out what they've experienced and maybe find more than what they read on the internet or hear talking to their friends."

As a mother of two girls, she says now, more than ever, parents need to know how to talk to their kids. Currently, a prescription is required for girls 16 and younger.

On its website, the president of Planned Parenthood calls the ruling a "significant and long-overdue step for women's health." The justice department is reviewing the decision.

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