It is probably always good to have a Plan B at the ready since so many things can turn on a dime and go south in life. Most likely due to my 42 years in health care I immediately thought of the emergency contraception called Plan B when I saw this week’s topic. This is a topic worth writing about for the larger and much younger LGBTQ population I feel because of the real risk of coercive and nonconsensual sex and of course because we live in the age of extremely fluid queer sexuality so prevalent these days. It is hard to keep up with who is screwing who.
I suspect very few if any women ever intentionally plan on unprotected sex and the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy. There are two versions of Plan B available over the counter to anyone of any age or gender: one involves one pill and the other two pills. Either gender can buy them with ease and when it’s the male coughing up the cost of the pill that seems to really only be fair much of the time. These forms of emergency contraception are often referred to as the morning after pill but if on hand there is no need to wait until the next day to take them.
The one pill Plan B version is a bit more expensive and runs between forty and fifty dollars at most pharmacies but for as little as twenty-five bucks at a Planned Parenthood. There are also cheaper versions than the Plan B options containing the same level of the hormone levonorgestrel and go by the brand names of Next Choice, One Dose, Take Action, My Way and the After Pill. These work like birth control pills but at a much higher dose. Some insurance may cover the cost but they often then require a prescription another unnecessary roadblock it seems to women exerting control over their own bodies.
These two options for Plan B work up to five days after intercourse but the sooner they are taken the better chance it will work. If taken within the first three days Plan B and its various versions are 75-89% effective. There are two other options for emergency contraception that are virtually 100% effective but require either a prescription or clinic visit. One is called Ella, a hormone blocker that prevents conception, and an Intrauterine device or IUD. I have provided here a link to a Planned Parenthood site that provides more information.
Despite wildly erroneous right wing religious propaganda aside these are not forms of abortion but forms of contraception. You would think that the proponents of abortion would be on the front lines advocating these morning after pills but they aren’t. Very clearly what is at work with the “right-to-life” movement, so often led by usually white males, is the control of women and their bodies.
I truly wonder at times why men such as our pasty-faced vice-president are so driven around the issues of birth control and abortion. They often are big Bible thumpers but why a book that gives helpful advice on how to control your slaves is given any credence here baffles me. I do think that on some perhaps very subliminal level it really is just a matter of power and control. These men really are broken and very insecure tools. Why are there never calls for the control and regulation of the various “boner” pills on the market? The double standard here is truly breathtaking. I would encourage anyone who can to donate to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s name and perhaps ask for your donation to be used to offset the cost of emergency contraceptive options for women of limited means.