Don't back down from backing up your birth control

With the Ides of March (3/15), Pi Day (3/14), and Dodge the Drunk Douchebag Day (3/17), in March, you might forget that today’s Back Up Your Birth Control Day, started to raise awareness about emergency contraception and the politics behind it. This year the Center for Reproductive Rights is focusing on re-lighting a fire beneath the FDA’s butt, since last year they promised to make emergency contraception easier to access for women of all ages. Unfortunately, it’s still only available behind the counter and you need to prove you’re over 17 to access it. To spread the message, CRR’s made a short video that combines some of my favorite things, like talking bunnies and reproductive rights.

Tell the FDA to Act on Emergency Contraception from Center for Reproductive Rights on Vimeo.

Bunny Two: It broke?
Bunny One: I can’t believe it.
B2:: At least there’s the morning after pill.
B1: Yeah, but the way you have to get it is SO embarassing.
B2: Wait, I thought you didn’t need a perscription anymore?
B1: Well you don’t, but you still have to go to the pharmacist, show your ID, and if you’re lucky escape without the stares of shame.
B2: Yikes. Why can’t you buy it like a condom?
B1: Excellent question. Scientists say there are no medical grounds for limiting access to emergency contraception. But instead of putting our health first, the Food and Drug Administration overruled their own scientists and bowed to political pressure.
B2: Woah.

Transcript via Feministing

What’s great about rabbits (Get it? They’re experts on multiplying) and nu-metal reminding me about access to EC is that in addition to the double standard of buying birth control alluded to in the commercial, condoms and EC are also talked about and marketed in drastically different ways. Condoms are marketed to men, and often have commercials that are notorious, sexy, sometimes misogynistic, or humorous, such as the “Trojan Man” series of innuendo-ed, heterosexual action. When they create controversy, it’s over an appropriateness issue, not a political one. Meanwhile, there’s nothing sexy about waking up alone in the harsh morning light and throwing a pillow across the room before you go pick up EC, which is what happens at the beginning of this Plan B commercial:

So while not every EC commercial needs bunnies, and it is sexy to make your own decisions on reproductive health (as the ladies in the Plan B commercial do), decreasing the stigma and shame surrounding birth control be it on screen or behind the counter is important. So when you inform yourself about how EC works and how to get it, think about how the messages we share about the morning after pill and how the FDA dragging its feet on accessibility are two sides of the same coin. Back up your birth control and don’t let the FDA back down on its word!

by Kjerstin Johnson
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Kjerstin Johnson is a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon. She is the former editor in chief of Bitch. She tweets at @kajerstin

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2 Comments Have Been Posted

Contraceptive options for men?

Hormonal birth control is all well and good, and of course we should be able to access the morning-after pill anytime we want -- in fact, I'd like to see a marketing campaign from Plan B similar to the sexy Trojan commercials, glorifying sexual (ir)responsibility.

Then again, I also think that <a href=" Madness vasectomies</a> are a great idea! It's a great tragedy that more research dollars haven't been thrown at developing male forms of contraception.

lucky bunnies have never had

lucky bunnies have never had to stare down the pharmacist just to get condoms...

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