Can you still get Plan B and birth control in SC after Supreme Court abortion ruling?

·4 min read
Joshua Boucher/jboucher@thestate.com

Birth control options and the Plan B pill are still available in South Carolina even after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday.

The overturning of SCOTUS’s 1973 landmark decision means the end of a guaranteed constitutional right to abortion, but not to any protections for birth control access. However, some fear the reversal could eventually lead to an erosion of such protections.

Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, in a concurring opinion, indicated that the Supreme Court should reconsider previous rulings that established the right to contraception.

But for now, birth control and Plan B, also referred to as the morning after pill, are accessible in South Carolina.

In fact, last month the state enacted legislation that expanded birth control access. Specifically, it lets pharmacists prescribe birth control pills without a doctor’s visit. The goal of the legislation is to curb unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

What is Plan B

  • According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Plan B is one of several over-the-counter emergency birth control pills that are taken after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy.

  • Emergency contraception reduces the risk of pregnancy when taken as soon as possible or within five days of sex. Emergency contraception lowers the risk of pregnancy by 75-88%, but could be as high as 95% if taken within 24 hours.

  • Emergency contraception is not the same as the abortion pill and will not stop or harm the pregnancy or fetus if you are already pregnant.

How to get Plan B

  • In South Carolina, you can get emergency contraception from the drugstore without a prescription if you are 17 or older or with a prescription if you are under 17 years old. You can also get it at low or no-cost at a family planning clinic.

  • To find a clinic near you visit Family Planning Clinic Locator or call 1-855-4-SCDHEC (1-855-472-3432).

How much Plan B costs

  • According to Planned Parenthood, Plan B usually costs about $40-$50. However, generics like Take Action, My Way, Option 2, Preventeza, My Choice, Aftera, and EContra generally cost less at about $11-$45. You can also order a generic brand called AfterPill online for $20 + $5 shipping.

  • You may be able to get the morning-after pill for free or low cost from a Planned Parenthood health center, your local health department, or another family planning clinic. Contact your nearest Planned Parenthood for details.

  • If you have health insurance or Medicaid, there’s a good chance you can get Plan B for free. You simply have to ask your nurse or doctor for a prescription so your health insurance will cover them (even though you don’t need a prescription to buy these types of morning-after pills over-the-counter).

Types of available birth control for women

Implant (Nexplanon™)

  • A 2-inch, thin plastic rod that uses hormones to prevent pregnancy for three years. A clinical doctor or nurse inserts it under the skin on the inside of the arm and it is considered 99% effective.

IUD(ParaGard®)/IUS(Mirena®)/Liletta

  • These devices are inserted into a woman’ uterus, work for five to 10 years and are deemed 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

Injectable contraceptive

  • Patients get a birth control shot once every three months from a doctor or nurse. It is 99% effective if you get repeat shots on time every three months.

Birth control pills

  • Take one pill at the same time every day. They are 99% effective if taken daily. Missing a pill increases the chance of pregnancy.

Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing®)

  • A small plastic ring that contains hormones to prevent pregnancy. A new ring must be placed in the vagina each month. It’s considered 99% effective if it’s kept in place and changed on time.

Birth control patch

  • A thin, stick-on square that is placed on the body to prevent the release of an egg. A new patch is used once a week for three weeks and the fourth week is patch-free. It is 99% effective when kept in place and changed on time.

Diaphragm

  • A rubber cap that needs to be fitted in a woman’s vagina by a doctor or nurse. It must be inserted each time a woman has sex and is 94% effective if used correctly.

Spermicides

  • Chemicals that kill sperm and that can be bought at drug stores and some health clinics. It is 82% effective when used correctly every time you have sex.

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