Some pharmacies limiting Plan B pill purchases as demand spikes

The surge comes less than a week after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade

WASHINGTON, D.C., (ABC NEWS) – Two of the country’s largest pharmacy chains, CVS and Rite Aid, confirmed to ABC News that they are now restricting the amount of Plan B or morning-after pills a customer can buy, following a spike in demand for emergency contraceptive drugs in recent days.

The rise in demand for Plan B pills comes after the Supreme Court ruled on Friday to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which previously set a 49-year precedent for legal abortion in the U.S., at the federal level.

Following the ruling, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested other past court decisions, including the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut decision — which ensured the right of married couples to buy and use contraception, and the right to marital privacy — should be reconsidered as well.

Rhode Island-based CVS told ABC News its pharmacies would temporarily limit Plan B purchases to three at a time.

“We have ample supply of Plan B and Aftera across all of our CVS Pharmacy stores and,” CVS officials said in a statement. “To ensure equitable access and consistent supply on store shelves, we’ve implemented a temporary purchase limit of three (3) on these products.”

Rite Aid, based out of Pennsylvania, told ABC News in a statement, that “due to increased demand, at this time we are limiting purchases of Plan B contraceptive pills to three per customer.”

ABC News reached out to Walmart as well but has not yet received a response.

Plan B or morning-after pills are different than abortion-inducing pills, which work to stop a pregnancy. Morning-after pills are instead a type of emergency contraception that can be taken orally up to five days after intercourse — though it is recommended that they be taken within 72 hours, to be more effective — to prevent an egg from being fertilized or delay ovulation, thus preventing unintended or undesired pregnancy.

Morning-after pills can be used when a birth control method fails, or if no birth control was used, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Levonorgestrel, the generic name of the drug used in Plan B, is sold over-the-counter under various brand names, including Plan B One-Step, AfterPill, Aftera, EContra One-Step, My Choice, My Way, Next Choice, Option 2, Preventeza, and Take Action.

Another type of morning-after pill, ulipristal acetate, is sold under the brand name Ella and usually requires a prescription.

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