90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Age Restriction On Morning-After Pill Will Not Be Lifted

By: The Associated Press

The nation’s health secretary says young teenagers cannot buy the Plan B morning-after pill without a prescription – a surprise move overruling her own experts, who were preparing to let it be sold on drugstore shelves like condoms.

The pill can prevent pregnancy if taken soon enough after unprotected sex. Currently, only those 17 or older can buy Plan B One-Step without a prescription, if they show a pharmacist proof of age.

The Food and Drug Administration was preparing to lift that age limit and let the emergency contraceptive be sold over the counter to anyone. But Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the agency, saying she was concerned that very young girls couldn’t properly understand how to use it without guidance from an adult.


  • Deborah Kotz, Boston Globe reporter 

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Frederick Dove

    Am I the only person who does not shop at  Wall Mart and never plan on entering any of their stores? I don’t support using slave labor for anything! I’m very proud of my position.

  • Home Building

    Please, Robin, when ANYONE refers to any medication as “perfectly safe,” do reach over and grab then by the short hairs!  There really is no such thing.  In the case of Plan B and any other form of abortifacients, the hormonal shock to any woman is substantial.  ”Success” over 99% is still not risk free, especially to the young who know far less about their bodies than adults.

    • Emily

      Plan B is NOT an abortifacient. It does not cause an abortion. It is a form of emergency contraception that only works when a woman is NOT pregnant.

  • Shopann

    Did I just hear her say that she wouldn’t want her 12 year old walking into a drugstore and buying something that might cause nausea? Strikes me that that is a 12 year old with bigger problems than nausea, whose parents should consider exercising their parental judgment earlier in the process.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

April 23 3 Comments

Kenyan Author’s Missing Chapter: Being Openly Gay

Acclaimed memoirist Binyavanga Wainaina talks about his writing, Africa today and his new life as an openly gay man.

April 23 Comment

Sherpas Walk Out From Everest Base Camp

On Mount Everest today, dozens of Sherpas packed up their gear and left base camp, after a lack of response to their demands.

April 22 Comment

What Do We Have To Teach Plato?

Philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein discusses her new book "Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away."

April 22 21 Comments

Children’s Literature: Apartheid Or Just A General Lack of Color?

African-American children's book authors Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher Myers weigh in.