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The Lack of Access to Emergency Contraception Continues


Results show that 80% of the IHS pharmacies surveyed carry Plan B as an OTC
contraceptive. However, a majority (72%) of the IHS pharmacies continue to impose age
restrictions on Plan B as an OTC contraceptive. Furthermore, 11% of the IHS pharmacies
require a prescription for Plan B and 9% do not offer Plan B at all. "There's not the
consistency and continuity that women should be able to expect through their health
system in terms of being able to access Plan B or its generic counterpart," Asetoyer said.
The Indian Health Service still does not have written policies and procedures in place for
the provision of Plan B (emergency contraceptives) and they are still operating under a
verbal directive, which is out of compliance and unacceptable. These inconsistencies are
also a direct violation of the Tribal Law and Order Act (TOLA), which requires standardized
health care.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released new guidance on integrating
human rights considerations into the provision of contraceptive information and
services. The guidance notes that international and regional human rights treaties, national
constitutions, and laws provide guarantees related to contraceptive access. The guidance
includes several references to EC, making the following recommendations:
• EC should be included in essential medicine supply chains and national formularies. It highlights
in particular that in some countries EC is not available on the false grounds that it causes
abortion.

See the IHS 2014 Report Card

See the 2014 OTC Survey

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