Belgian Health Minister Magda Alvoet announced yesterday that the morning-after pill will be made available to women in Belgium without a prescription beginning on June 10. Alvoet expressed hope that this move would cut the number of women under 20 seeking abortions by increasing access to emergency contraception. Pharmacists will dispense the pill, sold under the name Norlevo, over-the-counter and are being encouraged by the government to distribute information on contraception along with the drug.
Only two countries — Belgium and Britain — have made the morning-after pill available over-the-counter. The pill can prevent pregnancy from occurring if taken within 72 hours after sexual intercourse.