By: Elin Trolläng, staff writer @ElinTrollang
In the beginning of August the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B One Step became available to buy from the shelves in most pharmacy and grocery stores.
The pill used to be behind the counter, so if you wanted to get it you had to go to the pharmacist and ask. In addition, you also had to bring ID because you had to be 17 years or older or, if under the age of 17, have a prescription.
The debate about whether or not the Plan B pill should be available on the shelves and what the age restriction should be has been a long and heated debate. Not everyone thinks it is a good idea that women have such easy access to the pill, but I think it is great that anyone can go buy it in the grocery store.
Easy access to the pill might be seen as a bad idea because people could use it as a backup plan for birth control. It is important to remember, however, that the Plan B pill is not supposed to be used instead of birth control. Thinking about the benefits of having the pill available on the shelves is a lot more important than arguing about possibilities.
In a commercial for the Plan B One Step pill, women are sharing their feelings about the pill being available on the shelves instead of behind the counter. The main thing they are trying to say is that they don’t have to feel ashamed anymore when having to get the Plan B pill and that no one else should either.
It’s a great commercial. You shouldn’t feel ashamed because you need an emergency contraceptive. Birth control can fail. Even though not having unprotected sex is the best option, it still happens. It is good that there is still a way to prevent pregnancies in those situations.
If a person is feeling ashamed to go to the pharmacy and ask for the pill, they likely won’t end up going. It is understandable that most people don’t want to share that kind of privacy with people they don’t know.
Having the pill on the shelves in the grocery stores is a way to say that no one should be embarrassed to have to get it. At least it will give them the chance to not have to show it to anyone else. Another benefit is for those under the age of 17 who used to have to bring a prescription. They can now get the pill a lot faster.
Having to go to the doctor can take time. In my experience with doctors you have to schedule an appointment ahead of time. The pill is supposed to be taken within 72 hours (three days) after having unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. The sooner the pill is taken the better. If you have to go through steps before you can actually get the pill, those 72 hours may have already passed.
Yes, a lot of people will continue to think you should not have unprotected sex. That may be true, but when someone needs the pill, the unprotected sex has already happened so that doesn’t matter anymore.
And there are still heated debates about this topic, but in this situation we need to think about the consequences and that unprotective sex has already happened.
When someone has had unprotected sex or someone whose birth control has failed, the Plan B pill is there to help them. The easy access to the pill will help prevent some of those consequences, but it won’t stop the sex that has already happened.
Plan B will prevent unwanted pregnancies, and people need a way to get the pill without having to feel the embarrassment of asking for it. They shouldn’t have to be so exposed.
If we want fewer unwanted pregnancies and abortions, then having the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B One Step on shelves is a great thing.