Asking the pharmacist for emergency contraception has always the bane of my existence. Not that I take it all the time. I don't. In fact, I've only taken it twice to date. However, I'll confess that today's news that the FDA has approved Plan B One-Step for "off the shelf" sale has me giddy. Again, not because I'm a whore. Not because I don't use protection (because believe you-me, I do). But because I think women have a right to buy emergency contraception without having to ask for it, and I don't think any woman should be made to feel like a lesser human being because they choose to take it.
... I would know. I've most definitely felt that way.
It wasn't a friend of mine who made me feel bad. It wasn't the situation, either. The pharmacist made me feel horrible. I had been contemplating whether or not I should purchase the pill all day. I'm on birth control, yes, but a major part of me still gets very, very nervous when things get hot and heavy without other protection. After deciding that I'd be more at peace if I just sprung for the emergency contraception, I headed to my local drug store to pick it up.
I approached the pharmacy counter and no one else was around: success #1. As the pharmacist came over -- a woman who looked to be in her mid-to-late 50s with horrible blue eyeliner and a loose bun that had slightly fallen to one side -- I smiled. "I'd like to pick up Plan B, please."
... and she just stared. No response for a solid five seconds. I smiled more. After what felt like the longest pause ever, she replied, "Umm, you know that it costs $50, right?"
No, I have no idea about the astronomical price tag. OF COURSE I DO, lady! What, do you think I can't afford it? The way she looked at me up and down. The judgment in her eyes. She made me feel like a floozy and less of a woman. She didn't know my circumstances. She most definitely doesn't know my partner (God, I hope not). To say I was irritated was an understatement.
After I replied, "Yes" (although I wanted to smack her upside the head instead) -- she paused for another five seconds before leaving the counter to go get the pack. I paid for the medicine, walked away from the counter, and went on with my life. Regardless, I'll never forget the way she made me feel. Never.
That's why today, I think women deserve a little "hoorah!" Hopefully this decision will make women everywhere feel less awkward when they choose to pick this particular item up from the drug store. Boasting a new purple packaging, customers will most likely be able to find Plan B One-Step in the family planning aisle starting today, August 1.
Do you think it's a good thing that Plan B One-Step will be sold in the aisles now instead of over-the-counter? Have you ever had an awkward experience buying emergency contraception?