British Columbia women who need an emergency contraceptive might soon be able to grab one right off the pharmacy shelf.

Yesterday, Plan B — also known as the morning-after pill — was granted over-the-counter status by the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities.

Canada became the fifth country in the world to do so, but the College of Pharmacists of B.C. must also give its approval.

Until yesterday, Plan B was available without a prescription but women had to ask a pharmacist for it.

Colleen Metge, former president of the College of Pharmacists of B.C., said this intimidated some women.

“Teenagers in particular (might) deny themselves emergency contraception because (they’re) too shy or afraid of being judged.”

She also said there’s no evidence it leads sexual promiscuity or a drop in the use of regular birth control, adding it’s not an abortion pill and won’t terminate a pregnancy.

Betty Green, president the Vancouver Right For Life Society, said she disapproves of the move.

“Anything (that) ends life that has already begun is an abortion,” she said.
Some pharmacists who shared that view have declined to dispense Plan B.

Marshall Moleschi, registrar with the College of Pharmacists, said a recommendation to the provincial government will likely be approved this summer.

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