Drugstores Are Still Denying 17-Year-Olds the Morning After Pill for No Good Reason

A new study of 943 drugstores in five major U.S. cities found that nearly 1 in 5 pharmacies denied the morning after pill to 17-year-olds because of their age, even though it's perfectly legal for them to purchase the contraceptive over-the-counter.

Why aren't pharmacists abiding by the law? For inaccurate and subjective reasons — according to FOX, some said "You have to be 18 or older," "You have to have a parent with you." and "You're too young." Oh, okay, DAD.


Rosemarie Tong, the director of UNC Charlotte's Ethics Center, said young women who are denied access to the morning after pill should just argue their cause: "Maybe that push back is the final act of courage that a young girl needs to take today." It's great to support girls who want to speak up, but it's pretty unfair to assign them responsibility for making sure pharmacists abide by the law rather than, say, the Department of Health and Human Services, which, you may recall, recently decided not to make contraceptives like Plan B available over the counter to all girls of reproductive age.

If older men were being denied their beta blockers, would anyone suggest they simply tell the pharmacists to shove it? Of course not. Not to mention that anyone who has ever been a teenager knows it's not that easy to challenge authority figures in public, especially when you're discussing a controversial, private subject like the morning after pill. Drugstores need to stop denying 17-year-olds legal contraceptives — and it's not up to teens themselves to police them.

Study finds 17-year-olds denied morning after pill [FOX]

Image via Tyler Olsen /Shutterstock.

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