IHS does not have any retail pharmacies, so women seeking emergency contraception must wait at emergency care clinics, urgent care centers, or emergency rooms to obtain a prescription, then take it somewhere to have it filled. The time this takes can prevent some women from getting Plan B within the recommended 72-hour window.
Women's health advocates applaud the news but will still push for a formalized policy. IHS is only under a verbal directive right now to offer Plan B for women 17 years and older, which could easily be revised or rescinded. They also want IHS to adhere to the Food and Drug Administration's new emergency contraception guidelines that make Plan B available without a prescription to women of all ages.
Charon Asetoyer, the director of the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center, said, "We've made some progress, and we have to acknowledge that, but there's still more. They're still violating our rights to access by denying women who are age 16 and under . . . We have to ask, why are we being treated differently?"
Media Resources: Think Progress 9/23/2013; Associated Press 9/19/2013; Feministing 9/23/2013