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New "Morning After" Pill Available in Local Pharmacies

Local pharmacies are now selling a new single dose “morning after” pill that’s designed to prevent pregnancy after sex. But there’s controversy surrounding the pill. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner reports.

Workers at Grove Pharmacy in Springfield separate pills for customers.

The new Plan B emergency contraceptive is pre-packaged and doesn’t require sorting.

And customers don’t need a prescription if the buyer is over 18.

Plan B is taken in one dose within 72 hours after sex, which is different than other morning after pills that require at least two doses.

Gary Grove is a pharmacist and the owner of Grove Pharmacy in Springfield.

He says he has seen several young women come to his store to purchase Plan B, because they were afraid they were pregnant.

“How it prevents pregnancy is it stops the release of the egg to the ovary and it also can prevent fertilization of the egg or by preventing attachment to the uterus,” Grove said.

Grove says he supports this new pill because some forms of birth control are not always effective.

He says if a woman is already pregnant, then Plan B does not harm the pregnancy.

“This is not an abortion. It’s stopping it and there are a lot of reasons why someone should take this. The least favorite of mine is someone who is very negligent and takes this month after month as birth control,” Grove said.

While some pharmacists support Plan B, there are people who see the new pill as essentially causing an abortion.

Dave Plemmons is the director of the southwest chapter of Missouri Right to Life.“A fertilized human egg could be subject to destruction hormonally because of the actual properties and effects of this kind of drug. They prevent implantation which makes the womb completely inhospitable to a growing, self-metabolizing, living human embryo,” Plemmons said.

Plemmons says Missouri Right to Life supports young women having a responsible sexual lifestyle, so that the morning after pill doesn’t have to be used.

“We believe that pregnancy begins with conception. We believe that life begins with conception. If you are making the womb inhospitable to a living, growing human embryo in the zygote stage, then what you are doing is you’re affecting an abortion,” Plemmons said.

While there’s opposition to Plan B, whether it’s a single or multi-dose, pharmacists like Gary Grove in Springfield say there seems to be no shortage of women requesting it.

For KSMU news, I’m Kristian Kriner.