Pricing Plan B

maureen.jpgMaureen Shaw is the Chair of NOW-NYC’s Reproductive Rights Action Committee. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Human Rights at Columbia University.
For years, Emergency Contraception, or Plan B, has been a hot topic of debate. Does it cause abortion? Should it be available by prescription only? Should minors have access to Plan B?
A quick run-down on Plan B will teach you that no, it does not induce abortion, but rather prevents pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. And while I believe that it should be available to all women regardless of age, the FDA recently made Plan B available over the counter for women 18 years and older. And by “over the counter,� I mean dispensed by a pharmacist without a prescription.
While this is a step in the right direction, the price of Plan B is outrageous, particularly in New York City.
NOW-NYC’s Reproductive Rights Committee crisscrossed the five boroughs and found prices as high as $50 at some local pharmacies, and a study conducted by the New York City Council found the average price of Plan B at New York City pharmacies to be $41.84, which is higher than the price at which it was sold by prescription only.
Nearly 17 million women nationwide are in need of subsidized contraceptive services, and financial obstacles pose a real threat to low-income women’s ability to obtain Plan B. When the price of EC is out of reach for many girls and women, the hard-fought battle to make it accessible is defeated.
After receiving confirmation that retailers set the pricing of Plan B, NOW-NYC called on NYC pharmacies to lower their costs. We encourage everyone to do the same – the more voices that are united, the more potential for change!
Our Web site has letters available to download and send to your local NYC pharmacy, urging them to make Emergency Contraception more affordable and therefore more accessible for many women.
So please, join us, and take action against the unfair pricing of Plan B, which can have detrimental effects for women who can’t afford it at its current cost.

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