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September 24, 2018 | by  | in The F Word | [ssba]

The “F” Word

The myth of the morning after pill
It’s 8.30am on a Saturday and there are three of us in the waiting room at family planning. Three women, likely all here for the same thing: the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP), also known as the morning after pill. I’m here because the guy from last night finished quickly and was embarrassed to tell me, so I kept going, oblivious to the fact that the friction was pushing his jizz down and out the base of the condom.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been here, and it likely won’t be the last. Accidents happen, condoms fail, sometimes you go home with someone you assume is an adult, only to learn they don’t know basic physics. I’m pissed about last night, but mostly I’m pissed that I can’t just walk into a chemist and get the ECP for the regular $5 prescription fee.
Here’s why I think that needs to change. Firstly, the ECP is incredibly safe. You’ve probably heard the myth that it can harm your chances of getting pregnant in the future. That’s rubbish. Secondly, if it’s an “emergency” medication, why does it cost $40 at the chemist? You have a 72 hour window to take the ECP, and those who live week to week can’t always find the money, or get to a family planning clinic in time. Thirdly, why do pharmacists have the right to refuse to sell emergency medications on grounds of conscientious objection? Especially considering the ECP can’t abort a pregnancy, it only prevents a pregnancy from occurring. But my number one reason why the ECP needs to be more accessible is because: without access to emergency contraception, we lack autonomy of our bodies.
When regular contraception fails, the ECP is our only chance to prevent against pregnancy. Make the ECP more accessible and affordable, and let us make the right choices for ourselves.


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