Many young women have questions about their legal right in South Carolina to get birth control, including emergency birth control. Below are some commonly asked questions that can help you understand the law in South Carolina.
- Can teens under age 18 get emergency birth control pills without telling their parents? Click here.
- Can young women who have been sexually assaulted get emergency birth control pills from a hospital emergency room? Click here.
- Can young women get emergency birth control pills from a drug store without a prescription? Click here.
For more information about the Food and Drug Administration’s recent ruling on emergency birth control pills and non-prescription status, click here.
- Can teens under age 18 get emergency birth control pills without telling their parents?
Most young women don't need a parent's permission to get emergency birth control pills. In fact, teens age 16 and older in South Carolina have the right to get emergency birth control pills confidentially without asking or telling their parents. Doctors may provide emergency birth control pills to teen patients younger than 16 without telling their parents if they believe it is in the best interest of the patient. This law also applies to young women who wish to get regular birth control methods (such as the pill, the ring or the patch), or get tested for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
- Can young women who have been sexually assaulted get emergency birth control pills from a hospital emergency room?
In South Carolina, emergency rooms are required by law to provide emergency birth control to young women who have been raped or sexually assaulted if they ask for it. (If they also report the assault to the police, South Carolina law says that they won’t have to pay for medical care or for emergency birth control pills the hospital gives them. But young women should also understand that in South Carolina they do not have to report sexual assault to the police. They can be treated and get emergency birth control pills without talking to the police.)
- Can young women get emergency birth control pills from a drug store without a prescription?
In the United States, emergency contraception (morning after pills) are now available without a prescription for women and men 17 and older. Just ask your pharmacist for Plan B One-Step.
The newly approved Plan B One-Step is just one pill to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. Emergency contraception is most effective when taken within three days (72 hours) of unprotected sex; it may still work up to five days (120 hours) after sex.
The original Plan B (which is a two pill dosage) is gradually being replaced in pharmacies by Plan B One-Step. Plan B is still available over-the counter to women and men aged 18 and older, and by prescription to younger women. If you are 17 years old, call your pharmacy first to see if they carry the new pill, Plan B One-Step, which is available over-the-counter to women and men aged 17 and older.