When I was 21, I had a pregnancy scare.
I had been offered a job that summer to work as a costumer for an outdoor production company after I graduated college, and before I started my Masters program. I was incredibly excited about the opportunity, but I ended up not taking the position, as I felt I needed to be home with my family after my brother passed away.
I was living with my parents, driving a pickup truck that cost almost my entire paycheck to fill, and working at a school uniform store part time. I also met and started dating a man twelve years older than myself.
The first time we had sex, I wasn't too concerned going into it, as I'd been on the pill and I had asked him to pull out when he was close to completion. Things got completed a little sooner than I think he or I anticipated on his end, and I was suddenly panicking. Had I let my birth control lapse? Was it going to be effective enough? Did I have enough left over in my system to prevent a pregnancy? I'd used condoms with every other partner, and was completely out of my league on this one.
The next day, I went to the pharmacy and asked the pharmacist in my parents' hometown for the morning after pill. I had heard that it existed, and I thought it would be my best chance to avoid a pregnancy. The man scowled at me and said I needed a prescription. Oh man, now the real panic set in. I didn't have a doctor in the area - I couldn't get a prescription. I went home, found my birth control prescription, and took as many as I could. Was 6 enough? 8? 10? What will this do to my body? Will this poison me? Will it be effective in preventing a pregnancy? I read the instructions that came with the birth control from back to front, and over again.
I think I ended up taking 8 pills, drank lots of water, and went to bed.
I ended up getting my period on June 6, 2006 while watching the Omen. I remember crying huge tears of relief in a bathroom stall at the movie theater.
I would never wish those five days of panic on anyone.
Last night, I went out and purchased Plan B. It's safe, legal, and there is only one tablet to take. It's also over the counter and has a shelf life of up to four years. I'm currently not pregnant (with no plans to be), and am on birth control, but I'm also afraid for how the next administration is planning on handling health care issues, specifically as they relate to women. I want to be able to ease the minds of my friends, if they are ever in a position where they need Plan B, and it's either no longer offered or the pharmacist will not sell it for moral reasons.
If you're concerned about women's health care, as well as reproductive rights, I encourage you to go out and buy Plan B to have on hand. Maybe for you, maybe for someone you love, maybe for a someone your friends or family knows, maybe for someone who needs it and cannot afford it. The cost is $52 without insurance, and there is a coupon floating around the interwebs for $10 off.
As always, thank you for reading. I have not shared this story before, but in light of the current political climate, I wanted to add my voice to the fight for reproductive rights.