Before I go into my thoughts on this, I will just say that I am 100% for women’s rights, birth control, pro-choice, and all that jazz. Last week, President Obama supported restrictions on allowing Plan B to be available without a prescription. A lot of women’s rights groups were pretty upset by this. I agree with him that there should be restrictions, but I will also say that getting a prescription isn’t necessary. A woman only has 72 hours to take it after having unprotected sex for it to be effective. My goodness, how many of us can actually get an appointment with our doctors/gynos and get a prescription within 72 hours?
Plan B, emergency contraception or “the morning-after pill” SHOULD be readily available for all women who need it. However, as someone who has taken it, I believe that it should only be dispensed by a medical professional (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, etc.). It is a drug. It messes with your body and throws you completely out of whack. But, thankfully, it leads to peace of mind and no babies!
Plan B is wonderful in cases of emergency, but it should not be taken lightly. It ain’t candy, folks! So it should not be on store shelves right next to condoms. I can’t imagine young girls thinking that they can mess around, then just go to Rite-Aid, pop a pill and … *poof* … no babies and no consequences. Just as the name states, it is “Plan B.” If it were on shelves, too many women would use it as their main form of birth control.
Like Obama said, let’s just practice some common sense. If you are not responsible, and you are having unprotected sex, then you need to speak to a medical professional (and please, get yourself tested!). But in cases of broken condoms, lapses in birth control, or sexual abuse, a woman should be able to get Plan B when she needs it. I just think that for girls under 17, it should only be given out along with some advice and caution by a doctor, pharmacist, school nurse or counselor.
So while I am all for women’s rights, I am more for women being smart and responsible with what we’re putting into our bodies. If you are having unprotected sex, and are too embarrassed to speak to your parents, doctor, nurse or pharmacist to get Plan B or some form of birth control, then you shouldn’t be having sex. Young girls need to be educated, not ashamed or afraid when it comes to asking about birth control and sex.
I will say, though, that I am thrilled that we have reached the point where THIS is our debate. I don’t even know if Plan B was around 10 years ago. The fact that Plan B is now in pharmacies and women over 18 can get it without a doctor’s appointment, health insurance or prescription (at least in most cities) is amazing.