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Over the Counter


Planned Parenthood of Idaho made life easier for uncertain women just as quickly as it infuriated religious conservatives this week, when it began offering so-called "Plan B" contraceptive pills over the counter at its clinics.

The $35 pills are available after the federal Food and Drug Administration granted over-the-counter status to the medication. Anyone 18 years and older presenting a valid picture ID with birth date can get the pills without any exam. Both men and women may purchase the contraceptive with no quantity limit imposed. The sooner the drug is administered after unprotected intercourse, the better it works, according to Planned Parenthood. If used within the first 120 hours of sexual activity, the drug greatly reduces the risk of unplanned pregnancy.

"In Idaho, 10 percent of live births per day are to teenagers age 15 to 19," said Rebecca Poedy, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Idaho. "The best way to reduce teen pregnancy and abortion rates in Idaho is to provide men, women, and teens with both better access to proven prevention methods and comprehensive sexual health education."

As you might imagine, the move infuriated the Idaho Values Alliance, which said in a statement that the offering of a pill to end pregnancies was "a sexual predator's dream come true."