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Thursday, August 11, 2022

CVS, Rite Aid put purchase limits on emergency contraceptives after demand surges

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CVS and Rite Aid have begun rationing emergency contraceptives amid a spike in demand just days after the Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to abortion.

CVS said it will temporarily limit the purchase of Plan B and Aftera to three packs per customer. A spokesperson said Monday that while the drugstore chain has “ample supply” of the products both online and in-store, the cap is meant to “ensure equitable access and consistent supply on store shelves.”

Rite Aid also is limiting purchases to three per customer, a spokesperson said Monday, also citing rising demand.

Walgreens’s website showed Tuesday that two emergency contraceptives — Plan B and Take Action — were out of stock for shipping but available for pickup and same-day delivery in certain stores. A spokeswoman said Monday that purchases are not limited at the time as the company could still meet the demand in-store. “We are working to restock online inventory from ship-to-home.” The grocery chain Kroger notes on its website that Plan B is not available for shipping and that in-store stocks are low.

The Supreme Court on Friday overturned the fundamental right to abortion established nearly 50 years ago in Roe v. Wade, leaving states free to drastically reduce or outlaw the procedure. Thirteen states had trigger laws in place when the ruling came down, and they immediately took effect in several states, halting abortion care.

The ruling does not affect emergency contraceptives like Plan B One-Step, which are used to prevent pregnancy by temporarily delaying ovulation if taken within 72 hours of sexual activity. No prescription or identification is required to purchase them, nor is there an age requirement.

But after Friday’s ruling, health advocates, legal experts and officials have raised concerns that other efforts may be taken to curtail people’s rights to contraception.

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At Target and Walmart, the Plan B pill is eligible for shipping and pickup, but the time of delivery varies across locations. It can also be purchased directly on the Plan B website, but it is only eligible for four-to-six-day shipping.

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