The backlash that women receive from taking the emergency contraceptive pill, Plan B, would make any feminist want to rally. Valley decided to get to the grit of this taboo subject.
First off, women are expected to adhere to contradictory social practices. If you have a lot of sex you’re “slutty,” if you have too little sex you “can’t get it.” And forget it if you don’t have sex at all —you’re a prude! To add to all that, if you take birth control you must be having sex twelve times a day, but if you don’t take birth control you’re reckless.
Women are also expected to be perfect. If on birth control, they must remember to take a pill every single day, at the same exact time. Sometimes in the midst of a hectic schedule, it is easy to forget that responsibility. Birth control is also proven to have a lot of negative effects on a woman’s body. Maybe you prefer not to take it at all. Valley talked to two women who, according to their experiences, agreed that it often falls on the woman to remember a form of protection in the heat of the moment.
But guess what? Mistakes happen.
One 20-year old majoring in communications relates her story with Plan B: “I was on antibiotics and the condom broke. Sometimes certain antibiotics can make your birth control ineffective, so I was nervous about it. I went to CVS with my then boyfriend because we decided that my taking of the pill was the best option. It was around $50 and he bought it for me.” She goes on to say that although she felt very uncomfortable buying it, she would rather have to publicly purchase something than have an abortion.
“It made me feel sick like I had morning sickness; I was very nauseous. However, I think it’s better safe than sorry…emotionally it’s worth it. And it’s not like you can predict a condom breaking,” she says.
A 22-year old from the College of the Liberal Arts says she has had to take Plan B twice, but isn’t upset about it. “I’m all for the sexual liberation of women. In my eyes, we can have sex whenever we want with whomever we want. But, I’d be lying if I said mistakes didn’t happen in my experience.” She explains how one time after she had sex she noticed the next day when she went to take her pill that she had completely forgotten to take it the day before.
“I was definitely scared and mad at myself, but I immediately went to go pick up Plan B. Yes, I think it’s unfair that the pressures to prevent pregnancy fall on the women because we’re the ones who have to take birth control and Plan B if something happens. We are literally manipulating our bodies and hormones, but overall I think sex is intrinsic and nothing to be ashamed of. So, I am grateful we have those options of prevention, today” she says.
According to these women, Plan B has helped them in uncertain situations and granted them peace of mind. “I think almost every sexually active woman has been nervous about unplanned pregnancy at least once,” says the 22-year-old.
The communications major expresses, “Anyone taking Plan B isn’t going to be ‘happy’ about it, and they are fully aware of the heaviness of the situation.” So, instead of judging a woman for having to buy Plan B, why don’t you support her, instead?