Latinas to Suffer Under New Plan B Rules

More than half of all Latinas in the country will experience pregnancy before the age of 20, expert says

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    NEWSLETTERS

    This week the government decided to reinforce its rules on Plan-B also known as "the morning after pill" and it's causing controversy within the Latino community. Diana Guevara reports. (Published Saturday, Dec 17, 2011)

    The government's decision to reinforce its rules for one birth control pill is causing controversy among the Latino community.

    The Plan-B pill, otherwise known as the "morning after pill,” can lower the chance of a pregnancy by nearly 90-percent if taken 24-hours after unprotected sex. But some say keeping this pill prescription-based will only add to a growing problem.

    “Fifty-two percent of Latinas in this country are going to experience a pregnancy before the age of 20,” said Vince Hall with Planned Parenthood

    This is why Latinas should have better access to reproductive healthcare, Hall said.

    “The decision to put barriers in the way of contraception is a bad one,” he added.

    This week, the government decided to reinforce its rules on Plan-B also known as "the morning after pill.”

    Only people 17 years old and up will be able to get the pill without a prescription. Anyone under 17 will still need one.

    “It is a vital second opportunity to avoid an unintended pregnancy when you have a condom that slips off, you forget to take a birth control pill, or when you have unprotected intercourse."

    Some supporters of the restriction feel it would discourage teens from having sex. But Hall believes it will only add another barrier to Latinas who already hold the highest teen pregnancy rates and the highest uninsured healthcare rates, over all ethnic groups.

    “There is no scientific or medical reason to keep Plan B on a prescription basis. It should be available over the counter to everyone who needs it."

    These circumstances will only continue to drive unintended pregnancy and abortion rates further up, he said.

    “So to put a barrier in front of any women of any age and emergency contraception makes it far more likely that she's not going to be able to access it within the 72 hours or she's not going to be able to access it at all.”