A new study by a researcher at the University of British Columbia shows that BC’s over-the-counter policies for emergency contraception (aka, Plan B) have made a big difference. As the CBC reports, the number of BC women who used Plan B doubled to 18,000 a year after the province moved the medication off the prescription-only list in late 2000.

The researcher estimates that expanded access to Plan B has prevented about 200 unwanted pregnancies a year in the province. Of those, about half likely would have ended in abortion. Fewer would have ended in miscarriage. And the remainder would have resulted in unwanted births.

The CBC also reports that Canada is finally about to follow British Columbia’s lead and offer emergency contraception without a prescription nationwide. It’s about time! This step was announced last May.

When will the US Food and Drug Administration do the same?