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Local health officials share what you should know before stockpiling Plan B

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: May. 6, 2022 at 6:49 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With what lies ahead for Roe vs. Wade this question is still hanging in the air: What about emergency contraception?

Currently, Plan B, also known as the morning after pill, is one of the most accessible options out there for women. It’s available over the counter without a prescription. But, many worry this could come to an end, if Roe vs. Wade is overturned.

“Birth control does have an expiration just like all medications. So, it’s really important that people are mindful when keeping medications at home of when the expiration date is so when they are keeping medications at home it’s fully affective,” said Brittany Fonteno, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona.

She also said stockpiling birth control and emergency contraception pills may not be the safest option. And if the pill is expired, like most medications, its effectiveness can’t be guaranteed.

Dr. Holly Bullock, Fellow in the American College in Obstetrics and Gynecologists, said the same thing.

“Would it make someone ill no? But might it not achieve the goal of why someone’s taking it to have enough of that hormone to delay ovulation that would be the part that is not known,” Bullock said. “It might not do what someone wants it to do if it’s past that expiration date,” she added.

Bullock added that pills, patches, and rings are all hormonal methods that can all be prescribed and for a year at a time as a more long-term solution.

Back in December, the FDA approved mail-order abortion pills with a prescription, making the abortion pill available for women in the first ten weeks of pregnancy.

Arizona has one of the most restrictive and complex laws to obtain the abortion pill. This could be yet another option gone if Roe versus Wade is overturned. Advocates say it’s less invasive, and more discreet. It’s just not as safe as a surgical abortion.

With all of this in mind, the overall message from health officials is to be on the safe side and consult a healthcare provider you trust, versus just keeping items on hand.

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