Amazon has limited sales of emergency pills as demand increases following last week’s ruling by the US Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and ending the constitutional right to abortion.
The company has set a temporary volume limit of three units per week on emergency pills, Amazon confirmed to CNBC.
A review of emergency pills sold on Amazon showed varying amount limits. A list for Plan B, a popular brand of the drug Levonorgestrel, showed that purchases were limited to three products per buyer. Meanwhile, an entry for a generic version of the drug, called My Choice, allowed users to purchase up to 30 devices.
Amazon is the latest retailer to set limits on the purchase of the pills. CVS said on Monday that it temporarily restricts the purchase of Plan B pills. The company has since removed these restrictions, saying that demand has returned to normal levels.
Walmart said many of the chain’s products have online purchase limits that can change “in times of varying demand.” Walgreens said the purchase of emergency contraception was not limited.
Emergency birth control pills, often referred to as “morning after pills” and sold under the Plan B label, can be purchased without a prescription and without an ID or prescription.
They usually work by stopping the release of an egg from the ovaries, preventing a sperm from fertilizing an egg, or, if fertilization has already taken place, stopping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. They are designed to be taken up to three days after unprotected sex.
Morning-after-birth pills are different from abortion pills, which require a prescription and can be used in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy to terminate it.
On Friday, the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade judgment of 1973 that established the constitutional right to abortion throughout the United States. Many states have begun to impose a partial or complete ban on the procedure.
In response, many people have encouraged others to complete Plan B pending possible restrictions on birth control pills. Others said the potential shortage could affect the most needy and encouraged people to instead fund organizations that help distribute the pills to keep it available.
– CNBC’s Ian Krietzberg and Melissa Repko contributed to this report.
SEE: The political fallout from the Supreme Court that overthrew Roe v. Wade