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Demand for emergency contraception is on the rise after Ohio instates six-week abortion ban

 Morning-after-pill in package
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The morning-after pill

Pharmacies are putting limits on the purchase of the morning-after pill as demand for the emergency contraceptive reportedly up in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court striking down Roe v. Wade.

The decision to overturn the landmark ruling which created constitutional rights to abortion led to Ohio instating a new abortion ban as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

Pharmacies and stores throughout the state are experiencing shortages of the morning-after pill, a non-prescription emergency contraception. The morning-after pill is different from RU486, the medication that causes an abortion.

With the shortages, CVS and Rite Aid have both limited purchases of the product to ensure there would be enough supply for customers.

Jamie Norwood is a co-founder STIX a mail order company that offers birth control and other feminine products. She said women are more interested in getting the back-up birth control now that their abortion rights are in question in many places.

Norwood said her organization recommends women of child-bearing age keep a morning-after pill in their medicine cabinet just in case and offers free or reduced-price pills for low-income women.

“Having products that can help you take control of your health and your decisions are really important so we are big advocates for keeping this on hand the same way you would an Advil," Norwood said.

In addition, the company has started a public education campaign for women who don't have enough information on birth control options or know where to get products.

Cynthia Plotch, the other co-founder of STIX, said they are focusing on getting that information out to women who would be the target audience for crisis pregnancy centers that do not offer the full range of reproductive health care.

Plotch said all clinics dealing with women's health should be offering the morning-after-pill because it is safe and effective at preventing pregnancy.

"We're not talking about ending a pregnancy. We are just talking about preventing pregnancy from happening in the first place," Plotch said.

Emergency contraception is available over the counter, without a prescription. The CDC has guidelines for usage, depending on the brand and type of medication used.

Norwood and Plotch's company has started putting up billboards near health clinics in Ohio that can’t or don’t offer a full range of reproductive options in hopes that Ohioans who are lured to those centers will see them.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.