Judge removes age restriction on Plan B
The morning-after pill known as Plan B will now be available over the counter without age restrictions thanks to a Friday ruling by U.S. District Judge Edward Korman.
Korman ordered the Food and Drug Administration to change the pill's purchase guidelines, which are currently restricted to only those over the age of 17.
The pill is used as a morning-after contraceptive for those who have engaged in unprotected sex and must be taken before 72 hours have passed to prevent pregnancy.
Unless the FDA appeals the decision, the change could go into effect in just weeks, and Southwest Georgians are divided on the issue.
Worth County resident Bobby Anglon says he believes all people should be able to make their own decisions but understands where the change could cause concerns and issues.
Gurley Brown says his main concern is the fact that 14, 15 and 16-year-old girls aren't done developing and taking something that alters your body in such a way could be harmful to them.
Jennifer Smith says she understands both sides of the issue. Smith says for those who are raped and abused, she supports being able to purchase the pill but says there should be an age restriction so that young adolescents don't abuse it for the wrong reason.
Some of that abuse is in the form of taking the pill as if it is birth control, but experts are quick to point out that it's not.
Walgreen's Pharmacist Ashley Eschmann says the pill should not be taken more than once every 2 or 3 months, and as a pharmacist she's instructed to remind customers who are repeat users that they may want to look into getting a prescription for birth control.
Included on the morning-after pill's box is a list of side effects including nausea, cramping, diarrhea and more. Those against the change say this is concerning because it could make younger kids very sick and should be restricted, but others say those who are purchasing the pill are responsible for the consequences and should make the decision for themselves.
For now, both sides will have to wait and see how the FDA will act on the decision before any changes are made.