Though the morning-after pill Plan B is extremely safe, it took a years of battling with the FDA to make it as widely available as it is today — and it's still subject to pointless restrictions. The drug isn't available to teens under 17 without a prescription; this means everyone has to show an ID for purchase and receive the pill (or pills) from the hand of a pharmacist. Even though it's available over-the-counter for adults anyhow. In February, Teva, the company that makes Plan B (not to be confused with any sort of sport sandal), asked the FDA to remove the age requirement and make the drug available to everyone without a prescription. For months the agency has been silent on the issue, and it only has until tomorrow to respond to the request.
If the FDA approves Teva's request, it would be a fantastic step for women's health. While use of the pill doubled after it was made available to adults without a prescription, it hasn't had as big an impact as health advocates had hoped because many women still don't know what it does or how to obtain it. Susan Wood of George Washington University, who resigned from the FDA several years ago due to its foot-dragging over Plan B, tells the Washington Post: