Archive for Plan B.

Plan B: Educate pharmacists. Shouldn’t that have been Plan A?

On Friday, when I went into the pharmacy to pick up kitty meds, I was pleasantly surprised to see a big sign at the end of the counter: “Emergency Contraception Available Here”.

“Hey, that’s great! I’m really glad you’re carrying that!” I smiled at the pharmacist, who nodded casually. “Did you know,” I went on, “that WalMart is carrying it but allowing pharmacists to opt out? Crazy, right?”

The pharmacist shrugged. “I know a lot of people – friends of mine – who won’t dispense it. People are people, you know?”

I was taken aback. “But . . . do they dispense other contraception?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Then they must not understand how Plan B works. It’s a contraceptive – it prevents ovulation. It’s not an abortifacient.”

He shrugged again. “Each to their own.”

If I hadn’t had a sick cat in the car, I would have stayed to battle this out. As it was, I paid for the medication and left, fuming.

Each to their own? Each who? Obviously, not women trying to prevent pregnancy. Each of them is subject to the caprice and ignorance of self-righteous pharmacists.

What would WalMart do if they had a pharmacist who happened to be a Christian Scientist, and refused to dispense any medication on moral grounds? Target was asked that very question about their own “opt-out” policy, and apparently responded that “The emergency contraceptive Plan B is the only medication for which this policy applies.”

So this actually has nothing to do with upholding pharmacists’ right to choose and everything to do with denying women’s right to choose? Thanks for clearing that up, Target!

I swear, this is almost enough to make me pay $80,000 for four years of pharmacy school, graduate, go to work for WalMart, and then refuse to dispense Viagra.

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Guest blogger: My uterus.

my uterus

Hey hey heee-eeey, y’all! Good to be here, good to be here. Have you tried the martinis? I like ’em dirty, myself, but then, that’s the kind of girl I am!

I was talking with Uccellina the other day about how there really aren’t enough uteruses (uteri? Even I don’t know!) on the blogging circuit. She told me I should get my own blog, and I thought about it, but damn, between the follicular phase and the luteal phase, I’m pretty busy. And during menstruation, forget it. I’m totally wiped out. So we agreed that I would just post here every once in a while.

This is a good day for my first post. I’m sure you’ve all heard by now that Plan B has been approved for over-the-counter sales. That’s right! Safe and effective emergency contraception for all!

Well, not really for all. You have to be 18 or older, and able to prove it with a photo ID. That’s how cigarettes are sold, after all. And just like cigarettes, Plan B will be easily obtainable at your local convenience store or gas station.

[Pause]

Psych! Unlike cigarettes, which are actually bad for you, the completely safe Plan B will only be sold by licensed pharmacies, not convenience stores or gas stations.

I like this, from the New York Times:

Drs. Galson and Woodcock both said in their own depositions and public statements that scientific considerations drove their decisions. One memorandum that has since been made public states that Dr. Woodcock told agency employees that she feared that Plan B could take on “ ‘urban legend’ status that would lead adolescents to form sex-based cults.”

Sex-based cults! Who’s for ’em? *raises fallopian tube*

But seriously folks, every small step forward should be appreciated. Especially in an era of so many big steps backward.

Good night everybody, and please! Tip your gynecologist.

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Supporting choice in my own totally fashionable way.

I just bought one of these:

I’m not usually a slogan-wearer, but after I heard that Barbara Walters had misinformed her audience on The View by saying that Plan B works by preventing implanation of a fertilized egg (after which Elizabeth Hasselbeck promptly Freaked the Hell Out), I had to do something.

So I’m going to assume here that you have, in fact, Asked Me How! and, in the best middle-school tradition, I present to you a skit.

Scene: Laura, in her kitchen, looking concerned. On Tuesday, Laura had sex with George. Maybe she forgot to take her birth control pills for the preceding week (or maybe she doesn’t have health insurance and can’t afford them and George hates wearing condoms and refuses and she knows he’s going to leave her if she keeps refusing to have unprotected sex, or maybe they do wear a condom and it breaks, or maybe . . . ) On Wednesday (or Thursday or Friday), Laura counts the days from her last period and thinks, “Damn, that was stupid. Sperm can live in the reproductive system for up to five days, and I’m due to ovulate soon. If I get pregnant right now, I won’t be able to finish high school/finish college/keep living with my parents/keep my job with which I support my three other children.” So Laura calls Barbara and describes her situation.

“And now,” says Laura, “I have to wait to find out whether I’m pregnant.”

“What’ll you do if you are?” asks Barbara.

“Well, I might keep it, if George will help support it/if my parents won’t kick me out/if my job gives me maternity leave. If not, I might. . . I might have to get an abortion.”

“Wait!” says Barbara, “What about the completely safe and effective Plan B?”

“Plan B?” asks Laura, “You mean the morning-after pill? But that prevents a fertilized egg from implanting, so it is an abortion, isn’t it?”

“No, that’s not how it works at all,” says Barbara, who is a student in P.Z. Meyers’ biology class, “Plan B works by suppressing ovulation, thereby preventing fertilization. No fertilization, no conception! No conception, no abortion.”

“Oh! But that’s not what Barbara Walters said on The View!”

“Well, she was wrong.”

“But if it’s safe and effective, and isn’t an abortifacient, then why has the FDA refused to make it available over the counter?”

“According to the depositions in the ongoing lawsuit over this issue, it’s purely a political decision, ‘to appease the Administration’s constituents.'”

“Who said that?”

“Dr. Janet Woodcock, a senior FDA official.”

“Wow, that’s fucked up.”

And off goes Laura to get her safe, effective, non-abortion-causing Plan B.

So who wants to perform this with me at the next talent show?

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