U.S. markets closed
  • S&P Futures

    4,291.50
    -6.75 (-0.16%)
     
  • Dow Futures

    33,830.00
    -43.00 (-0.13%)
     
  • Nasdaq Futures

    13,663.25
    -18.00 (-0.13%)
     
  • Russell 2000 Futures

    2,021.30
    -2.50 (-0.12%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    88.47
    -0.94 (-1.05%)
     
  • Gold

    1,794.70
    -3.40 (-0.19%)
     
  • Silver

    20.18
    -0.09 (-0.45%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.0154
    -0.0010 (-0.10%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    2.7910
    -0.0580 (-2.04%)
     
  • Vix

    19.95
    +0.42 (+2.15%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2044
    -0.0014 (-0.11%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    133.0080
    -0.2640 (-0.20%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    24,067.63
    -291.38 (-1.20%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    570.74
    -20.02 (-3.39%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,509.15
    +8.26 (+0.11%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    28,777.50
    -94.28 (-0.33%)
     

Abortion is no longer a constitutional right. Americans are afraid Plan B is next.

·7 min read

The day after the Supreme Court draft opinion on Roe v. Wade was leaked in early May, Sahar Saba went online and ordered two boxes of emergency contraceptives.

The 37-year-old Minnesotan said she was "furious" over the opinion, which revealed that the Supreme Court was poised to overturn the ruling that established abortion access as a constitutional right.

She said her concern was that lawmakers would come for birth control or emergency contraceptives such as Plan B next.

“I have no interest whatsoever in having children. So this is something very important to me,” said Saba, who left Lebanon for the USA in 2018. “Supposedly, women have rights in the U.S., and then you suddenly realize that these rights are being taken away from them.”

Saba's fears have escalated since Friday, when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. A concurring opinion from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said the court should reconsider rulings that protect access to contraception, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriageNo other members of the court joined the opinion.

Though emergency contraception such as the morning-after pill remains legal, retailers said they're experiencing a spike in demand that could lead to supply chain issues.

Hyde Amendment: Under decades-old Hyde Amendment, millions of Americans already live in a 'post-Roe' world

Emergency contraception: What to know about birth control as Americans await Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade

Stocking up on pregnancy tests, too

Right after the draft opinion's leak May 2, the online prescription company Nurx saw an "unprecedented" 300% spike in requests for emergency contraception, according to CEO Varsha Rao. Sales remained elevated throughout the month and spiked again after Roe v. Wade was overturned June 24.

Friday sales were more than 10 times higher than a typical sales day, according to Rao, and remain "quite high."

Nurx, owned by Thirty Madison, lowered the price of its generic Plan B to $14.99 from $20 in response to the Supreme Court's decision.

"That's a really strong signal for how important patients feel" emergency contraception is, Rao told USA TODAY. "Patients (are) having concerns about whether access to emergency contraception, contraception in general, are still going to be available to them."

Requests for birth control from the company have doubled.

Erika Nolte of Houston said she spent about $115 on pregnancy tests and Plan B – which has a four-year shelf life – after learning about the court’s draft opinion.

“I wanted to make sure I was prepared for the next two or three years,” said Nolte, 29. “My friends that are women and around my same age are all doing about the same thing.”

Telehealth provider Wisp, which delivers health care products, sold 30 times as much emergency contraception Friday compared with Thursday,  according to CEO Ahmad Bani. The company declined to share specific sales figures but sees "strong" day-over-day growth.

Bani said the surge has been concentrated in states with "trigger laws" that effectively ban nearly all abortions now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned.

“(We’re) continuing to hear a lot about increased awareness around these products, the importance of them, and especially what might happen in the face of a Supreme Court ruling,” Bani said.

Can I still buy Plan B? Where can I get it? What to know after Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Abortion draft opinion fallout: Could rights to same-sex marriage, contraception be next?

Is there a shortage of Plan B?

Voices online have raised concerns about stores selling out of emergency contraception.

The drugstore chain Rite Aid limited the purchase of Plan B pills to three per customer "due to increased demand," according to a company statement shared by spokesperson Terri Hickey on Tuesday.

CVS also implemented a temporary purchase limit after a "sharp increase" in sales. Sales have since returned to normal and the company is in the process of removing the purchase limit, according to a Tuesday statement shared by spokesperson Mike DeAngelis.

Walgreens spokesperson Zoe Krey sent USA TODAY a statement that said the company is able to meet in-store demand, including curbside pickup, and does not limit Plan B purchases "at this time." The pharmacy chain is working to restock its online inventory for products shipped directly to homes.

Rao said Nurx hasn't seen challenges from its supply chain but "can't predict what the world will look like."

"Our pharmacy supply chain team is being very proactive, and we're working really closely with our suppliers," she said. "We don't see any signs that contraception is going to be limited, but our patients are fearful."

Bani of Wisp said the company isn't experiencing supply chain issues "at the moment," but he warned that this could change as demand grows.

State bans: One woman’s 17-hour journey to get an abortion.

Pharmacies limit Plan B purchases: CVS, Rite Aid set purchase limits on Plan B contraceptive pills as demand spikes after Roe v. Wade ruling

What does Plan B do?

Plan B has been one of the easiest morning-after pills to buy after the Food and Drug Administration said in 2013 that the contraceptive could be sold over the counter.

The pill is typically about $50 at retailers and works best on users who weigh 165 pounds or less when taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. Similar brands include Take Action, My Way and My Choice.

Ella contains a different active ingredient and is considered "the most effective" morning-after pill by reproductive health care provider Planned Parenthood. Ella may not be as effective for users who weigh 195 pounds or more and should be used within 120 hours of unprotected sex. Unlike Plan B, Ella requires a prescription.

Certain intrauterine devices (IUDs) can be used as emergency contraception if inserted within five days of unprotected sex.

Unlike abortion pills, which are used to end a pregnancy, emergency contraceptives reduce the chance of becoming pregnant by temporarily stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg to prevent fertilization. The pills will not work if the user is pregnant and do not harm a developing fetus.

My Way is a brand of emergency contraception.
My Way is a brand of emergency contraception.

Judge Clarence Thomas: Calls for Supreme Court to 'reconsider' gay marriage, contraception after Roe v. Wade falls

'People will travel': What overturning Roe v. Wade could mean for abortions across state lines

Some lawmakers take aim at contraception

That hasn’t stopped some lawmakers from trying to restrict access.

Missouri lawmakers attempted last year to end taxpayer funding for “any drug or device … that may cause the destruction of, or prevent the implantation of, an unborn child.”

The language targeting emergency contraception was scrapped.

Last month, Idaho state Rep. Brent Crane, a Republican, told Idaho Public Television that he would be open to hearing legislation on banning emergency contraceptives, citing "health concerns."

Emergency contraception pills can have side effects such as nausea, vomiting, slight irregular vaginal bleeding and fatigue, but effects are "not common" and mild, according to the World Health Organization.

Other states have taken steps to limit funding and access for the morning-after pill.

Texas does not cover emergency contraception in its family planning program, and Arkansas and North Carolina do not include emergency contraception in their mandatory contraceptive coverage, according to abortion rights group Guttmacher Institute.

Pharmacists in Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi and South Dakota can refuse to dispense emergency contraception.

Power to Decide, a nonprofit focused on preventing unplanned pregnancies, said searches on the organization's website for clinics that provide emergency contraception shot up 124% after the Supreme Court leak last month.

"You can certainly see the sort of general concern fueled by comments by state policymakers that yeah, they're definitely going for contraception next," said Rachel Fey, vice president of policy for Power to Decide.

You can follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter @bailey_schulz and subscribe to our free Daily Money newsletter here for personal finance tips and business news every Monday through Friday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Plan B in high demand after Supreme Court abortion ruling