Block of OTC morning-after pill sparks outrage

By LAURAN NEERGAARD | December 8, 2011 | 2:55 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's the morning after and the controversy over how to sell emergency contraception still looms.

The order by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to stop the Plan B morning-after pill from moving onto drugstore shelves has shocked women's health advocates, a key part of President Barack Obama's Democratic base.

Major doctors groups also are stunned by the decision. They have argued that over-the-counter sales could lower the nation's high number of unplanned pregnancies.

Sebelius decided Wednesday that young girls shouldn't be able to buy the pill on their own, saying she was worried about confusing 11-year-olds. For now, Plan B will stay behind pharmacy counters, available without a prescription only to those 17 and older who can prove their age.