BALTIMORE, Md. -
Plan B, the "whoops" pill, brings a surprise. A federal judge says it should go over the counter and be available to all ages.
"We should always have a say. It's our child. It's our responsibility," said Pam Malboeuf, a parent who opposes the ruling.
Until now, Plan B has been behind the pharmacy counter following a decision by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. It said girls ages 17 and younger required a prescription for the pill.
"Until they're 18, we are responsible for them and so we should know what they're doing," said another parent.
Board member for Planned Parenthood and Baltimore physician Amina Chaudhry sees it as a big step for science.
"Anytime that you reduce barriers to contraception, you're going to reduce the chance of having unwanted pregnancies or unintended pregnancies," said Dr. Chaudhry.
On the flip side, health opponents say the pill could be misused as a primary form of birth control.
"So the problem here in having those over the counter here in the United States is that these teens are going to be avoiding medical screenings by doctors. And so these STD's any any increased STD's that are a result of increased sexual behavior amongst teens are going to go unidentified and untreated," said Anna Higgins, a spokesperson for the Family Research Council.
The morning after pill has a higher dose of the progestin hormone. Taking it within 72 hours of unprotected sex can cut the chance of pregnancy by about 90 percent.
Medical experts say if a woman is pregnant, the pill has no effect. Critics call it the abortion pill, arguing it can stop a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.
"Something that drastic, we should be able as parents to have a say in it," said Malboeuf.
The judge said Plan B should be available over the counter in 30 days.
But the FDA has a chance to appeal the decision. Right now, they aren't commenting because it is an ongoing legal matter.