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Step right up: Free emergency contraception here

By ASJYLYN LODER
Published May 7, 2007


Local Planned Parenthoods will give away free emergency contraception Tuesday from noon to 6 p.m. One per customer, please.

"We want this to be something every woman of childbearing age has in her medicine cabinet in case of emergency," said Wendy Grassi, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida.

The pill, known as the morning-after pill and sold under the brand name Plan B, prevents pregnancy if begun within 120 hours after unprotected sex. Pharmacies dispense it over the counter to women older than 18-years-old. Women younger than 18 can get a prescription for it. Parental consent is not required.

"Prevention is the key to reducing the number of abortions in Florida , and every woman deserves every chance to prevent an unintended pregnancy, " read a statement issued by Barbara Zdravecky, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida.

The Food and Drug Administration made Plan B available over the counter in August, amid accusations that federal officials withheld approval to please conservative opponents.

It will be available for free at Planned Parenthood affiliates in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Sarasota, Lakeland, Ft. Myers and Winter Haven.

Asjylyn Loder can be reached at aloder@sptimes.com

 

What's happening?

Planned Parenthood is giving away free emergency contraception Tuesday from noon to 6 p.m.

What is emergency contraception?

Called Plan B or the Morning After Pill, emergency contraception lowers the chance of pregnancy if started within 120 hours after unprotected sex, or after contraception fails. It is not Mifeprex or RU-486, known as the abortion pill.

Where can I get it?

In August, Food and Drug Administration made emergency contraception an over-the-counter drug for women older than 18. Most pharmacies carry it, at a cost of $35-$45, and Planned Parenthoods offer it for $30. Planned Parenthood will be giving it away today at their centers at 21A Martin Luther King, Jr. Street S. 9th street in St. Petersburg, and 8068 N. 56th Street in Tampa.

For more information, go to www.go2planb.com .