This week the Obama administration took the unprecedented step of overruling the FDA’s recommendation–based on scientific study–to expand access to emergency birth control to women of all ages. Like all issues affecting women’s health, it’s clear people on all sides have strong feelings about this. For its part, the mainstream media has been focused on how smart politically it is (or isn’t) to extend access to emergency contraception, known as Plan B, to women under 17.
But no one is talking about the most important part of this whole decision: It is going to impact real women’s lives in deeply serious ways.
When we focus exclusively on how taking Plan B will impact a 15 year old (or not!), we miss the truth about the net impact of the decision. That story needs to be told and it needs to be told by people whose lives have been changed because they didn’t have access to emergency contraception when they needed it. By women who can’t easily get birth control, let alone an abortion. By women who don’t have government issued IDs. By women who can’t be open and honest with anyone in their community, including their pharmacist, about the fact that they need Plan B.
The story of how restricting access to Plan B and requiring photo identification and permission from a pharmacist actively disqualifies millions of women from making their own choices for their own bodies needs to be told by you. Will you submit your stories in the comments section here?
Once we’ve collected enough stories, we’ll share them with members of Congress, members of the Obama administration and members of the press.
Shaunna Thomas and Nita Chaudhary