Amazon places purchase limit on Plan B after surge in demand

The e-retailer joins a growing list of drug retailers placing purchase limits on emergency contraceptive pills

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Amazon has placed a temporary limit on the purchase of emergency contraceptive pills as demand surges following the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade, effectively outlawing abortion in roughly half of the country.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to The Independent on Wednesday that the company has placed “temporary quantity limits of three units per week on emergency contraceptive products,” which went into effect on Monday. However, Amazon has not placed restrictions on generic versions of Plan B, allowing customers to purchase up to 30 units of another emergency contraceptive called My Choice.

Amazon joins a growing list of drug retailers placing limits on how many emergency contraceptive pills a customer can purchase. Earlier this week, CVS said it was temporarily capping the purchase of Plan B pills at three units per customer, although the company announced Tuesday that the purchase restriction has been lifted as sales have “returned to normal”.

Plan B, the shortened name for Plan B One-Step, is a type of emergency contraceptive pill that is typically taken less than 72 hours after unprotected sex or birth control failure and can prevent pregnancy. The pill, also referred to as the “morning after pill”, is typically available over-the-counter and contains the main ingredient levonorgestrel, which works by interfering with a person’s ovulation cycle.

On Friday, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority voted to strike down a nearly 50-year precedent established by Roe v Wade, which legalised abortion throughout the United States.

In his concurring opinion to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Justice Clarence Thomas emphasized that the Supreme Court should also reconsider the rulings that currently protect the right to contraception, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage.

As the future of Griswold v Connecticut – the case which ruled that states had no right to ban contraception – remains uncertain, many people who can get pregnant have begun stockpiling the morning-after pill, although experts warn that this would limit access for those who need it immediately.

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