Time Magazine’s blog reports a study that found about one in five pharmacies incorrectly denying teenage girls emergency contraception.
By law, teenagers 17 and older can buy the pills over the counter. The emergency contraceptives are also known Plan B or the “morning-after pill,” because they are most effective immediately following potential conception.
Researchers from Boston University, posing as either 17-year-old girls or doctors seeking Plan B emergency contraception for their 17-year-old patients, called 943 drugstores.
They found that 19% of pharmacists told teenage callers they could not purchase emergency contraception because of their age. Three percent of doctors were similarly told emergency contraception could not be given to 17-year-olds.
When asked whether they knew the legal age for Plan B access, only 57% of pharmacy employees answered correctly to teens; 61% answered correctly to doctors. Teens were twice as likely as physicians to wait on hold, and four times less likely to be connected to a pharmacist to answer their questions.
Teens have had difficulty with other forms of birth control as well. For example, Yaz and Beyaz have recently been in the news over reports that they have a higher rate of causing deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolisms, and strokes than other birth control pills. Lawsuits have been filed on behalf of women as young as 14-years-old.