If you are 17 or older, you can get Plan B without a prescription. If the pharmacist or pharmacy tech says you can’t, they are wrong. If you live in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Vermont, or Washington, some pharmacists can prescribe and dispense EC even if you are under 17. Call your local pharmacist to see if they are licensed to do this.
There are some states (Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, and South Dakota) where pharmacies/pharmacists can refuse to dispense Plan B on “religious or moral grounds.” If you live in one of these states (or even if you don’t) this document from the National Women’s Law Center has great information on what to do if you are refused EC or BC.
It’s not a bad idea to keep a box or two of EC handy, even if you live in a state that’s generally liberal about EC dispersal. EC is expensive (it runs $50-$60 OTC in New York), but if you have health insurance and get an advance rx from your doctor or from a clinic like Planned Parenthood, it’s often covered by your insurance like any other prescription. Having EC on hand also stops you from having to deal with power tripping pharmacists and from stressing out about getting to a pharmacy in time.
For more info on Plan B, including safe use, pharmacy & clinic locators, and rates of effectiveness, click here.