At a press conference this morning Planned Parenthood of Connecticut (PPC) President Judy Tabar emphasized the importance of making emergency contraception available to all women.
Using emergency contraception allows every woman to back up her birth control within 120 hours. If a condom breaks, if she has unprotected sex. We believe that every woman deserves every chance to prevent unintended pregnancy, and we hope that Free EC day will increase awareness of Plan B, contribute to decreasing rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion, and give women a new level of comfort in their ability to control their own fertility and sexuality.
Ms. Tabar said that next year PPC expected to distribute 26,000 packets of Plan B through it's health centers. After December 6, a dosage of over the counter Plan B obtained at a PPC health center will cost $35.
When asked about how difficult or easy it would be for woman to obtain Plan B other than Planned Parenthood Ms Tabar expressed hope that pharmacies would choose to carry the drug also.
We certainly hope that all pharmacies are going to carry it. It's going to be available over the counter, although in fact it's really behind the counter because anyone who's seeking emergency contraception will have to show I.D. to show that they're over the age of 18.
Ms. Tabar was also asked why there has been so much confusion about what Plan B actually is.
First of all let me say what it is. Plan B basically prevents a pregnancy from the start. That's how it works. Sometimes people confuse it with medicated abortions commonly referred to as RU486. That's a medication that ends a pregnancy in progress."
Additional information can be found at PPC's website.
Commentary: What does this have to with Connecticut Politics?
Plan B was a hot button issue for local politicians in the 2006 election cycle. Jodi Rell lost the NOW and NARAL endorsements because her views on Plan B and Catholic hospitals. One of Lamont's first primary endorsements was from NOW PAC, which cited access to emergency contraception as a factor in it's decision.
Many people believe that Plan B's current availability over the counter means that access to ec is now a dead issue. They're wrong. There is no law in Connecticut requiring hospitals or pharmacies to carry and distribute emergency contraception, and women who need the drug may still have difficulty obtaining it especially when Planned Parenthood clinics are closed. While it's good that Plan B is now available without a prescription for women over the age of 18, there's still work to be done to make sure all women who require the drug have access.