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Battle Lines Drawn Following FDA's 'Morning-After' Pill Decision

MANHASSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Is 15 too young to buy the "morning-after" pill?

That's the question dividing parents in our area after a controversial decision Tuesday from the federal government.

They're too young to hold a driver's license in our area, but are old enough for next-day birth control.

The morning-after pill will now be available without a prescription to girls ages 15 and older.

"I think it's way too young," one person on the streets of Manhasset told CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan on Wednesday.

"I feel it's better for their privacy, so they don't have to go through their parents," another person said.

"We should help students prevent having children at such a young age," added another.

Still, multiple teens across Long Island told McLogan their parents are freaking out. The Plan B One-Step, which is used after sexual intercourse to help prevent pregnancy, will soon be available on drug store shelves, instead of keeping it locked up behind pharmacy counters.

Planned Parenthood said it's about time.

"If there were an accident, and someone engages in unprotected sex, at whatever age, they have access to something that can prevent that unintended pregnancy," said Planned Parenthood Nassau chapter president Joann Smith.

It is a politically charged issue pitting conservative groups against advocates for women's reproductive rights. Hofstra University's family therapy clinic director said it's a good time to talk.

"Parents can't always have the law swing the way they want, but we do have control over how we engage in a dialogue with our children about sexual activity, our values," Teresa Grella-Hillebrand said.

The Food and Drug Administration said the pill has been tested on girls and women age 15 and above, and deemed safe. However, one doctor urged caution.

"There is no good literature to support the safety measures in the adolescent population [younger than 15]," said Dr. Heather Appelbaum of North Shore-LIJ Medical Center.

The new packaging will include a product code that when scanned by a cashier will indicate that the customer's proof of age is required.

Each box is to have a security tag. Costs range from $10 to $70 for one-time usage.

The FDA decision could be changed next week. A court-imposed deadline looms to "lift all age restrictions," on the emergency contraceptive.

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