Women in North Carolina who callPlanned Parenthood'snew hotline can now get emergency contraception, better known as the morning-after pill, over the phone. Callers can have a prescription called into their local pharmacy.
"We've been referring to it as the best kept secret, because if women knew about it, they could utilize it so much more," says Shaina Gross, an emergency contraception specialist at Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood in Orange and Durham counties is spearheading the effort. Janet Colm, executive director, says the process is very effective and very safe.
"We all know how hard it can be to get into a doctor's office, and this is a way for women to have access to it quickly," she says.
New mother Jessica Axberg supports the idea of emergency contraception, but says she is concerned about young girls having access to it.
"I think it's a good idea. I don't think someone that's 12 (years old) should be prescribed something without their parents' consent," she says.
"Planned Parenthood's philosophy about giving birth control to minors is that we encourage them to talk to their parents, but we don't deny them birth control," Colm says.
Planned Parenthood says the service is available to anyone who needs it. A clinician or a physician's assistant will look at each case and approve the prescriptions.
The method prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg and will only work within about 72 hours of unprotected sex.