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Spacone said he’s hopeful any IHS policy on emergency contraception would include a way to follow up with patients to see if they’d like regular birth control and make sure they’re not taking undue risks. That might be tricky, he said, but patients otherwise could get a false sense of security from Plan B.

Downing said he can appreciate the reasoning behind the consultations that typically are required for any drug dispensed at IHS facilities, including ibuprofen and cough syrup, to ensure patients get the right medication for their ailments. But he said Plan B shouldn’t fall in the same realm as other restricted drugs because it’s time-sensitive and doesn’t carry the same abuse factors.

“The medical risks of using it without appropriate reason are essentially zero,” Downing said.