I know that this is old news (this happened at the beginning of June, but I didn’t have a Tumblr then and well why not talk about it now?) but emergency contraception AKA “Plan B” or the morning-after pill is now available to girls and women of all ages without a prescription in the United States.
I think this is incredible news. Not just because I believe in the right of individuals to access contraception and that includes emergency contraception, but because I was once in a position that I felt I needed Plan B.
I was 16 and I lost my virginity to my boyfriend, also 16. It was unprotected and occurred in a moment of, frankly, bad judgment. I was terrified that I might be pregnant. I called the pharmacy at the local grocery store and was told I would need to be 17 or else I’d have to have a prescription. I felt I couldn’t tell anyone, not my parents, not my friends, so many of whom were under 17 as well.
Still emotionally reeling from what had happened, I ended up not doing anything, figuring my chances of becoming pregnant were low because he did not ejaculate inside of me (but let me just remind that the withdrawal method is still not 100% effective, and pre-cum can contain sperm, so there was still a chance). I still cannot believe how stupid I was.
I just waited it out.
Thankfully, I was not pregnant. But I could have been. My story could be anyone else’s. This ruling that Plan B is more available means that people in my position who are of any age will be able to access Plan B more readily. Yes, there can still be a hefty price tag depending on where you go (Planned Parenthood I’m sure has it at a free or reduced price, but the pharmacy I called told me $60 plus tax—outrageous) but the fact remains that age will not be a barrier. So that’s why I celebrate this ruling.
(And to those who look down on this ruling claiming that access to contraception will make teens more likely to be sexually active, I leave you with this quote: “Contraceptives no more cause sex than umbrellas cause rain.” —Nick Kristof. Research supports this!)
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