Happy Birthday Plan B
It's been one year since the FDA approved Plan B aka Emergency Contraception for sale over the counter. In the first year sales of Plan B have skyrocketed. with 2007 sales predicted to hit 80 million dollars. Here are a few bloggers who recognized the birthday on their blogs.
Rachel from Women's Health News is encouraging people join the Pill Patrol.
Despite over-the-counter availability, not all pharmacies stock the drug, and not all pharmacy staff are adequately informed about or willing to dispense Plan B. To that end, Planned Parenthood has launched the Pill Patrol campaign, in which women can sign up online to serve as secret shoppers, calling or visiting a nearby pharmacy and reporting back on whether the pharmacy will provide the drug.
Rachel links to RH Reality Check where we are reminded that some people still believe Plan B and it's availability over the counter turns women into sluts.
This week marks the one-year anniversary of the FDA decision to allow emergency contraception to be sold over-the-counter. That decision was touted by conservatives as a kind of policy aphrodisiac that would lead Americans to lose complete control over their sexual drive and judgment. The logic apparently was that the availability of this additional pregnancy prevention method would loosen the sexual chains that otherwise keep society marching in place.
Oddly enough, none of the teens or young adults I know have lost control over their sexual drive or judgement. The box of Plan B I bought for just such an emergency remains in my bedside table. Which reminds me, I should check the expiration date. The teens and young adults around here are pretty lucky, they can call me if they need EC but not everyone has easy access.
From Bush vs Choice:
your ability to access Plan B depends on who you are and who you ask. That’s because a combination of state laws, pharmacist refusal clauses, cost and insurance barriers, and pharmacy store practices can make a trip to the pharmacy quite unpredictable. This rings especially true for teens, low-income women, and women of color. Immigrant women also face additional barriers to access that ultimately renders this contraceptive option meaningless for many.
Like all women, Asian and Pacific Islander (API) women have sex. However differences in language and culture discourage many API women and girls from fulfilling their reproductive health care needs, including timely access to Plan B. For example, many young API women and girls are uncomfortable discussing issues related to their sexual health with their families or health care providers. As a result, many API women and girls have a limited understanding about their bodies and their reproductive health care choices, including emergency contraception.
At Feministing Ann has asked some great questions about where EC activism should focus its efforts now:
-- Ensuring access for servicewomen.
-- Expanding access to teenagers.
-- Making it a major issue in the '08 presidential race.
-- Continuing to fight pharmacist refusals.
-- Holding the media accountable when they spread misinformation about EC.
-- Encouraging all the women you know to back up their birth control.
Happy Birthday Plan B (emergency contraception).
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