I am a 42-year-old happily married mother of two elementary-schoolers. My husband and I both work, and like many couples, we're starved for time together. One Thursday evening this past March, we managed to snag some rare couple time
and, in a sudden rush of passion, I failed to insert my diaphragm.
Karl Rove forced them to listen to a Barry White CD and they became so funked up they lost control.
The next morning, after getting my kids off to school, I called my ob/gyn to get a prescription for Plan B, the emergency contraceptive pill that can prevent a pregnancy -- but only if taken within 72 hours of intercourse. As we're both in
our forties, my husband and I had considered our family complete, and we weren't planning to have another child, which is why, as a rule, we use contraception. I
wanted to make sure that our momentary lapse didn't result in a pregnancy.
Apparently some rules are meant to be broken.
The receptionist, however, informed me that my doctor did not prescribe Plan B. No reason given. Neither did my internist. The midwifery practice I had used could prescribe it, but not over the phone, and there were no more open appointments for the day. The weekend -- and the end of the 72-hour window -- was approaching.
A good question might be why two doctors don't prescribed a given medication. Is it all politics or are there valid concerns about the safety and efficacy of the drug in question?
But I needed to meet my kids' school bus and, as I was pretty much out of options -- short of soliciting random Virginia doctors out of the phone book -- I figured I'd take my chances and hope for the best. After all, I'm 42. Isn't it likely my eggs are overripe, anyway? I thought so, especially since my best friend from college has been experiencing agonizing infertility problems at this age.
If there were just after school programs she could have shopped for Plan B some more, blame the GOP controlled Virginia Legislature. Her best friend is agonizing over infertility and this poor woman suffers from an excess, oh the irony. If there were only a way where unwanted children could go to homes that desperately needed them
Weeks later, the two drugstore pregnancy tests I took told a different story.
Positive. I couldn't believe it.
So there are drugstores in her area. Her inability to believe it must come from a lack of proper sex education in junior high, those prudish republicans again.
I'm still in good health, but unlike the last time I was pregnant, nearly a decade ago, I'm now taking three medications. One of them, for high cholesterol, is in the Food and Drug Administration's Pregnancy Category X -- meaning it's a drug you shouldn't take if you're expecting or even planning to get pregnant. I worried because the odds of having a high-risk pregnancy or a baby born with serious health issues rise significantly after age 40. And I thought of the emotional upheavals that an unplanned pregnancy would cause our family. My husband and I are involved in all aspects of our children's lives, but even so, we feel we don't get enough time to spend with them as it is.
Have you ever gone 24 hours without a rationalization, or four?
I felt sick. Although I've always been in favor of abortion rights, this was a choice I had hoped never to have to make myself. When I realized the seriousness of my predicament, I became angry. I knew that Plan B, which could have prevented it, was supposed to have been available over the counter by now. But I also remembered hearing that conservative politics have held up its approval.
O.K. this is how the conservatives made it inconvenient for her to terminate her pregnancy conveniently. Read the whole thing, I have never seen so much phony moralizing and irresponsibility written in one place.