Plan B = Plan A?

In Racism, Birth Control and Reproductive rights, Angela Davis argued that the birth control campaign carried strong racial and classist undertones and excluded women of colour and lower socioeconomic status. Since Davis’ article, access to birth control has improved significantly and but it comes with new issues and concerns.

One of the recent innovations in birth control is Plan B, the “morning-after pill,” which helps reduce the probability of conception if taken within 72h of unprotected sex. This pill is readily available at most pharmacies for about $50 and through many healthcare providers at a discount. However, this accessibility has resulted in an abuse of what is meant to be an emergency contraceptive. At one point, every New York City pharmacy was out of Plan-B and one blasé friend pointed out that until prices are raised to a point where she no longer has easy access, Plan B will continue to be her choice of oral contraceptive. In a controversial article, blogger Cat Marnell echoed this sentiment, adding that she’s too inconsistent for birth control and not sexually active enough for condoms.

However, this abuse is only feasible within a certain income bracket. Abuse of Plan B can only occur if one can afford it. For those in a lower income bracket, however, $50 remains a sizable price tag. In fact, even though Plan B may be a more essential service for them due to the safety of their neighbourhoods or their lack of access to consistent birth control, Plan-B abuse such as the one in NYC could cut off access to them in their greatest hour of need, and we see, once again, a dynamic between the classes.

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One Response to Plan B = Plan A?

  1. eric132 says:

    This is an interesting point made about Plan B’s access all to people, no matter what their socioeconomic status. Whereas I think it is important for people no matter how much money they have to be able to have access to Plan B, lowering the cost does make the drug more accessible. When this drug is made so readily available, it makes it much easier for people to not feel the need to constantly use protection. When protection is not used, it may increase the chances of STDs. I don’t think that price should decide who is able to receive Plan B, but I do think it is important to teach people that sex is not such a casual event that a convenient pill may easily fix. The convenience of something like Plan B I think shows our generations lack of concern about sex and it’s often dangerous consequences.

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