I don’t consider myself a particularly promiscuous person. In fact on two separate occasions I was celibate for a very long time (a year and a half and three years, respectively.) Nor am I a prude. I enjoy sex enough that it doesn’t have to come within the confines of a serious relationship, but neither am I indiscriminate in my choice of partners to the point where I will sleep with anyone. I get myself tested regularly and I won’t sleep with anyone without a condom. So how does a fairly responsible adult such as myself, end up in a pharmacy purchasing Plan B? Two words: shit happens.
There’s a reason that the condom companies can’t say 100% effective, even with proper usage. Nothing can be 100% effective. You can follow the instructions to the letter, but there’s always the potential that things can break, which is exactly what happened. And yes folks, it really is as upsetting as you think it is to hear your partner say “It broke,” when you know you’re close to your period and you’re not on birth control.
Now point of fact, I’ve been sleeping with the same guy for the past month and while it’s great, I don’t know where it’s going long term. The thought of having a kid with someone I’m still getting to know sounds like a pretty terrible idea. I guess the argument could be made: why are you sleeping with someone you don’t know very well? The answer: I’m a consenting adult and premarital sex is not illegal, yet. But as an adult, I am aware of the risks and I do take responsibility for my actions, and I will do what is right for me. Rather than take my chances, I decided better safe than sorry. So to the pharmacy I went. (Though, Planned Parenthood probably would have been the cheaper option.)
To anti-abortion proponents,” the morning after pill “or Plan B, is often called the “abortion pill”. This is a gross misnomer. In actuality it’s a large dose of hormones, similar to those found in birth control, and as stated on the box: it prevents ovulation, fertilization, or the implantation of a fertilized egg. In short, it mostly prevents conception from even occurring and no fetus is ever aborted. It’s available over the counter, if you’re over the age of seventeen, and often part of procedure with victims of rape and sexual assault, if they so choose. It is only effective up to 72 hours after and even then it’s not 100% (if anything ever truly was one wouldn’t be in the position to need Plan B.) In truth, you should never rely on Plan B, it’s not a failsafe and should never be used in place of more effective, traditional methods like condoms and birth control, but something is better than nothing.
There’s also the horror stories you hear about of all the side effects which include dizziness, nausea, cramps and tiredness. It is a massive dose of hormones after all. I got off light with a half day of sleeping and a wee bit of dizziness the next day.
Pro-life advocates often tout that the availability of the pill promotes promiscuity and irresponsible behavior. That was the same argument used in the 1950s and 60s about the standard birth control pill. There has been no conclusive study linking the availability of emergency contraception to increased promiscuous behavior.
In this society there is still a bit of stigma attached to female sexuality. We should feel bad about enjoying or engaging in sex out of wedlock or monogamy, and if you end up with a broken condom or making a mistake you should suffer the consequences of the Scarlet A. I’m not saying Plan B was the greatest decision of my life. It didn’t exactly feel awesome walking up to the counter, asking for the pill, and showing my ID to prove my age. I expected a bit of judgment, maybe a disapproving look. Instead I was simply asked if I preferred the one or two pill version and was sent on my merry way.
I’m lucky that I live in a country and a state where I am not forced to be held to a different standard as a man (for whom it is easier walk away from an unwanted pregnancy, because they don’t have to carry it.) My partner was relieved I took the precaution and so am I. I personally don’t believe a child should be brought into this world unless they are wanted and loved. They should never be thought of as a mistake. Consequently, your life should not have to be defined by an accident if you can avoid it. Shit happens and I’m glad I had somewhat of an option out.