Plan B, also known as the morning-after pill, has been used by over one-third of women ranging from Gen Z to Gen X. According to Plan B’s website, it is an emergency contraceptive in pill form. It works by stopping the ovary from releasing an egg, so the sperm doesn’t have anything to fertilize, preventing a pregnancy. It is most effective when taken within 72 hours after intercourse. The website also states that the pill will not harm an already existing pregnancy should it be taken too late, nor will it impact someone’s ability to have children in the future.
Since the 2022 “near-total ban on abortions,” as stated by Indiana Capital Chronicle, there has been an increasing number of conversations regarding access to contraceptives and birth control. According to an article from the New York Times, many legal experts have suspected that the supreme court may revise regulations on various contraceptives and birth control methods, including Plan B.
I interviewed the President of the Intersectional Pro-Choice Assembly (IPCA), Claire Franzman, and the president of UE Students for Life (SFL), Sydney Wilbur, asking four questions about a potential ban on the Plan B pill.
As the president of your respective club, what are your thoughts on a potential Plan B ban?
IPCA: “I think that they would be significantly detrimental to women’s health and opportunities to have any autonomy over their own bodies in general.”
SFL: “Ultimately, I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Wilbur stated. She also clarified that “as the pro-life movement, we’re not pushing it [a ban on Plan B]. That’s not what the pro-life movement is about.”
Would you argue that the pill is moral, immoral, irrelevant, etc.?
IPCA: “I don’t think there is anything morally wrong with the Plan B pill.” She explained that since the pill stops the ovulation from happening in the first place, to her, morals are less of an issue with this contraceptive.
SFL: “The Plan B pill is very different than any of the abortions which we are fighting because of intentionality” Wilbur answered. Similarly to Franzman, Wilbur touched on how the pill is made to stop the ovulation. “The morality question is all about intention” and the intention of Plan B is not to stop a pregnancy, but to prevent one. “We would not actively, legally prevent someone from getting that [Plan B.]”
How does Plan B compare to other post-coitus methods such as chemical or surgical abortion?
IPCA: “The abortion pill and Plan B are completely different… Plan B is an extra strong contraceptive, whereas abortion actually ends the pregnancy after the egg has been fertilized.”
SFL: “There is a lot of confusion about that.” Wilbur mentioned their tables in previous semesters advocatings against chemical abortions and how many students thought the group was advocation against Plan B. “With Plan B… you’re trying to stop that life from forming in the first place,” in contrast to a chemical abortion, which is intended to stop a confirmed pregnancy.
Should the pill get banned, what would be your advice to someone in a position where they would seek this method?
IPCA: “To start doing research.” Franzman advised to keep a solid support system around you while you seek the available options.
SFL: “It’s very important in our culture that we are picking our partners, and being with someone that wouldn’t leave you in the dust if something like that were to happen… consenting to sex is consenting to the possibility of pregnancy.” Wilbur also shared that there are many resources someone could reach out to aid in getting maternity clothes, medical help, and referrals for adoption should one not want to raise the child.