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No, Plan B Was Not Banned in the US

Dina Faisal Dina Faisal
13th May 2022
No, Plan B Was Not Banned in the US
No state has restricted or criminalized contraceptives (Getty).

The Claim

Plan B, a contraceptive pill, was banned in some U.S.  states.

Emerging story

Twitter users are circulating a viral claim purporting that Plan B, a hormonal birth control medication, was being banned or made illegal in some states in the United States. Users expressed their outrage and anger at such a decision.

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Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s team investigated the claim and found it to be fake. Plan B, also known as the morning after pill, was not illegal or prohibited in any state in the United States.

What is Plan B? 

According to the Plan B website, the pill is "an effective emergency contraceptive." Plan B works by preventing fertilization, implantation, and temporarily stopping ovulation when taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.

Context of the Claim

The claim comes after Politico published a draft opinion in which the Supreme Court of the United States appeared to be on the verge of overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision of 1973. The historic case ruled that the Constitution upholds the Fourteenth Amendment "right to privacy," which protects a pregnant woman's decision to have an abortion. "However, this right is balanced against the government's interests in protecting women's health and 'the potentiality of human life.'" The issue has been widely discussed, with warnings that if Roe vs Wade is overturned, it could lead to abortions becoming illegal nationwide, and that such a decision would not stop abortions but rather increase unsafe abortions. The news has raised concerns about abortion rights and whether conservative states in the United States might try to restrict certain types of contraception.

State Laws

Although there are concerns that contraception will be restricted, Tennessee has not made Plan B illegal or restricted its use. However, Tennessee law prohibits individuals and businesses from delivering, couriering, or mailing abortion medication. Plan B is not an abortion bill; rather, it is a contraception measure. Furthermore, the bill signed does not fine people for ordering abortion medication, but rather makes it a felony for abortion medication providers to "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly" break the law by dispensing abortion medication in any manner other than in-person. Patients are explicitly exempt from penalties under the law.

In Missouri, if the Supreme Court overturns the Roe vs. Wade decision, a "trigger law" could go into effect. However, the law will only apply to abortion medication and not emergency contraception or birth control such as Plan B. Planned Parenthood, the region's and Southwest Missouri's leading provider of sexual and reproductive health care, also confirmed that access to birth control will not be impacted.

Ongoing Investigations

Based on the findings, Misbar confirms that the claim is fake. No state has so far restricted or criminalized contraception or birth control methods. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortions will be impacted, limiting women's freedom to choose and access safe abortions.

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