by Steven Ertelt
October 24, 2005
Anchorage, AK (LifeNews.com) — Alaska is one of eight states that already have made it so anyone wanting to purchase the morning after pill does not have to visit a doctor beforehand. The state’s medical board considered changing that but decided to keep the current policy in place.
On Friday, the Alaska State Medical Board voted down a proposal to make the drugs prescription-only by requiring a visit with a physician before purchasing them. Currently, anyone wanting the buy the Plan B pills, which sometimes cause an abortion, can obtain them at a local pharmacy.
Dr. John Middaugh, longtime state epidemiologist, told the board on Thursday that he sees no medical or scientific reason to change the current policy. He said the state, by asking patients to review the risks of the drug with a physician, would be making it more difficult for women to access the drug.
"We all know that nationally, politics have interceded," Middaugh said. "Please don’t let the politics trump science and undermine the integrity of the state medical board."
The eight member board is appointed by the governor.
Other states that allow purchase of the morning after pill without a prescription include California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Washington.
Canada has also made the sometimes abortion drug Plan B available over the counter without a prescription and Vermont and Oregon are considering similar proposals. The FDA is also considering a proposal to allow sales of the morning after pill without a prescription for women over the age of 16.