Happy Back Up Your Birth Control Day!

March 25, 2009 § 6 Comments

Today is National Back Up Your Birth Control Day! It is a day dedicated to awareness, action, and education about Emergency Contraception (EC). Today, pro-choice activists around the nation will be fighting for women’s rights to birth control and for equal access to responsible choices. 

This year’s Back Up Your Birth Control Day is especially momentous because two days ago, the Supreme Court ruled that EC can be obtained over-the-counter for women ages 17 and up, progress from the previous ruling that required prescriptions for minors wishing to obtain EC. 

Thanks to some fabulous NARAL training, I was able to be educated on EC and all the myths that various sources have instilled in my brain were dispelled.

Emergency Contraception gives people a second chance to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex by delaying or inhibiting ovulation. It contains the same ingredients that are in normal Birth Control Pills, minus the estrogen. 

As for the dissipating falsities…

1. Myth: EC is the abortion pill. Reality: EC cannot have any effect if the woman is already pregnant. The abortion connotation of the pill simply comes from anti-choice unscientific groups that recoil (shocker!) when women are given accurate information with which to access reproductive health services.

2. Myth: EC is the morning after pill. Reality: Although EC is commonly referred to as the “morning after pill,” this is a medical misnomer. An EC expert said in the training that it should actually be called “the morning after and the morning after that and the morning after that and the morning after that and the morning after that pill” because it can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex, though the sooner the better! Because saying “morning after” five times fast might prove a tongue twister, just go with the medically and choice-accurate name: EC.

3. Myth: EC has extreme side-effects. Reality: It has been proven that the side effects of EC are similar to PMS.

4. Myth: Teenagers can’t access EC. Reality: To access EC on their own, teenagers need a prescription or they need an adult (anyone over the age of 18) to pick it up for them. It is not illegal for an adult to buy Plan B and give it to a teen. 

It is so important that these myths stop perpetuating because they interfere with women’s individual choices. To see where you can access EC in your neighborhood, visit the Book of Choices.

Miranda and I will be handing out information on EC in front of the subway today (as she mentioned yesterday). All it takes to make a difference in the world of choice is to educate others.

What will you do to spread the empowerment?

§ 6 Responses to Happy Back Up Your Birth Control Day!

  • dragonmage06 says:

    Is this the same stuff that certain pro-life pharmacists are refusing to provide when asked? If so, is there anything we can do if that happens other than go to another pharmacy?

    • mirandanyc says:

      Anti-choice and conservative pharmacists like to refuse a whole slew of products, including emergency contraception, birth control, and even condoms. As I understand it, the legality of this practice (refusing to provide pharmaceuticals, which, in fact, is a pharmacist’s job) varies depending on where you are. If it happens to you, make a fuss. Ask to talk to the store manager and question them about their policies. Tell them why it’s wrong to refuse you family planning tools, even if it’s not illegal – which it very well might be. I would even report the incident to the police, or, if you’re in NYC, call 311 (it’s an imperfect bureaucratic system, but it’s unfortunately one of the most official resources we have).

  • shira says:

    In many states, if a pharmacist has a moral/ethical/patriarchal issue with completing a prescription, they have a legal obligation to refer you to another pharmacist who will fill it out. It is unacceptable for contraception to be denied though it unfortunately happens. As Miranda mentioned, it is an egregious flaw in this bureaucracy that somehow makes its way into our rights and choice.

    To get EC hassle-free, there are plenty of places you can go. Check out NARAL’s list of resources in the NYC area: http://www.prochoiceny.org/boc/sect1_3.shtml

  • dragonmage06 says:

    Thanks! That’s good information.

  • [...] can now officially buy Plan B emergency contraception over the counter. LET THE SLUTFEST BEGIN!! Related: The Onion announces a new drug on the market – [...]

  • [...] calling voters directly during group phonebanks, distributing condoms and information about emergency contraception, rallying support for the Reproductive Health Act, and getting pissed when our efforts were [...]

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