A new study has shown that teenagers have the same level of understanding as adults regarding the information on emergency contraception labels. Emergency contraception, the most common type of which is Plan B, needs to be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex but should preferably be taken within 12 hours, when it is most effective. An overwhelming 92% of teens understood that Plan B is a means of preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex and 83% recognized it must be taken within 72 hours. A 2002 study showed that only 1-2% of adults, who have access to over-the-counter Plan B already, comprehend the labels more than minors.
Making such emergency contraception available to minors over-the-counter would help to prevent teen pregnancy. While a federal court ordered over-the-counter sales of Plan B for 17-year-olds to be allowed by the Food and Drug Administration on March 23 of this year, researchers hope their study influences consideration for restraints to be lifted on Plan B for all ages.