Olympia

Local opinions divided over new 'morning after' pill rules

Local opinions divided over new 'morning after' pill rules
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Girls as young as 15-years-old can now buy the "morning after" contraception pill at their local drug store without a prescription or parental permission, and that decision is getting mixed revues.

Ralph's Thriftway in Olympia still refuses to make the Plan B pills available, and the company has the backing of a US District Court decision.

But the pills will be available at most other drug stores.

Emergency contraception used to be stored behind the counter and only available to those over 17-years-old. The new minimum age is 15, and no parental permission is needed.

"I don't think that's okay at all. I don't think that's right," said Lago Heathscott.

Heathscott is a young father of two and feels strongly that the pills are wrong.

"I mean, 15 is pretty young to be just be going in and going on the day after pill without parental consent," he said.

The owner of Ralph's Thriftway in Olympia still refuses to sell the pills.

"We were forced with either having to violate our religious beliefs or close our pharmacy, and neither one was a good option for us," said owner Kevin Stormans.

The federal government approved the idea of selling to 15-year olds back in May, but it took until now for the industry to make the changes in packaging and get the pills to stores.

While many say they're against the change, others say they approve of the decision.

"I think they should be able to do that, actually," said Molly Fletcher.

Fletcher said it will be difficult for 15-year-old girls to prove their age with student ID cards that only show their grade level, but she believes it's worth the effort.

"If the girl were to be pregnant and 15, the consequences would be a lot worse than if she was able to get the morning after pill," Fletcher said.

Holly Bell had her first child when she was 16-years old, and 10-years later she has another newborn.

"I actually think it would be a good thing, personally," she said.

Bell said she wanted to get pregnant as a teen, but believes some of her friends would have gone to the store to buy Plan B if they could have.

"I know that there were other kids my age who were having kids who may have taken that," she said. "Good for them to have a choice."

Many stores are just now getting their supplies of Plan B, so it's unclear how quickly they're being snapped up.