Advocates around the country are encouraging people to back up their birth control today, March 24, 2010. Though many of us are well aware of the advantages of emergency contraception, Back Up Your Birth Control Day is a day to spread the word and encourage women to never take their sexual health for granted - that means being prepared!
While we may use other forms of contraception, there is always a chance that you may have unprotected sex. So make sure you are aware of and have a back up of your birth control.
Currently there are two types of emergency contraception on the market - Plan B One Step is one pill that you can take up to 72 hours after having unprotected sex. A generic version of the drug is also available, called Next Choice. Both are available to adults without a prescription - Plan B One Step is available to individuals 17 and older without a prescription.
Condoms break, and people forget to take the pill sometimes, and things happen. Having access to a contraceptive backup is imperative for all women, particularly young women who are more likely to have unprotected sex.
Although a judge ordered the FDA to reconsider the current restrictions on emergency contraception a year ago, little has been done to make EC accessible and easy to obtain. Even if you don't need a prescription, you have to go to a pharmacist and provide a legal ID. Although research has shown that there are no medical grounds for limiting access to emergency contraception, the FDA has not enforced any changes to how the drug is sold.
We need to be able to buy EC the way we would condoms, and increase the education available in our communities about the option to use emergency contraception. It's better than the shame and anxiety that currently exists around the drug for so many people!
There are many ways to take action on this day - for more information, check out the campaign's website here.