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There is an ad currently running on our TV for the "morning after pill". I have a number of issues with it, none of which are to do with the drug itself, which I think should be made available at free clinics to anyone who wants it, and should be sold OTC at all pharmacies, and you should be able to pick it up off the shelf, no questions asked, and pay for it with your nail polish, shampoo, and whatever else you're buying that day (thus circumventing pharmacists who believe that they have any say in another persons' reproductive choices), or with the fact that it's being aired, which I think is awesome with a capital some.

No, the issues I have are purely to do with the imagery of the ad, foremost of which is the fact that the girl they choose to focus on is so thin that I doubt she gets a period at all, let alone has enough body fat to support a pregnancy. Please, please show us someone who looks like us, an average woman like you or me who has clumsy sex with a guy she likes, but both of them are kind of awkward when it comes to condoms, or she's staying over at his place, and she forgot her birth control (it happens), and one thing led to another, and now she needs something just to make absolutely sure she's not pregnant with a guy she's not sure she can introduce to her parents, let alone raise a child with.

(Soapbox) No-one, no matter how glib about casual sex, wants to go through an abortion. The (edit:  not RU-486, but the "morning after pill" - see comment from pharmacist below *hearts commenters with more knowledge*) pill makes sure women (and girls) never have to go through that. It should be standard issue after any sexual assault examination, and it should be free, free, free, just like the kit used for the examination. (/Soapbox)

(Consensual) Sex is messy, awkward, and fun, and everyone does it. While I applaud the presence of the ads themselves, I would prefer something more accessible and real, like women interviewed about the relief they feel about having the option available to them, easily and without fuss, shaming, or lectures, at any pharmacy. It is not an abortion, despite what the anti-abortion lobby wants you to believe; it acts like a large dose of birth-control pills (and this is a method women have been using privately for years; if you forget a pill, take two or three the day after). If it is classified as an abortion, then birth control pills have to be classified as such, and down that scary road lies the people trying to get any kind of birth control made illegal.

(Soapbox again) Some people want the morning-after pill banned completely, claiming (falsely) that it is an abortion. These people want to take all reproductive choices away from women, and their agenda is about shaming women for being adult sexually active people. You know, because only whores have sex outside marriage, and women who are married should get pregnant all the time, because they are merely vessels for the babies they carry, not people in their own right. (/Sarcasm) (/Soapbox)

But the last, and silliest objection I have to the ad (but not its message) is that at the end, the girl makes a shape with her hand that becomes the "B" in the tag line of the ad - "Be Safe" - but in sign language, that sign (the thumb and forefinger curled to make a circle, and the last three fingers pointing up) is "F". Which made me yell "That's an F, you retards" at the screen, because I am 10 years old and cannot keep my thoughts to myself.

Mind you, the ad is tame compared to what they're getting in Britain. (slightly NSFW, no nudity, and really offensive viewpoints from the British Christian Right.) (Assholes.)

Because, in Britain, Christmas is totally about getting boozed up and having unprotected sex with questionable strangers, and how women are being told (yet again) that if they get a little tipsy, it's their fault if a man sexually assaults them, not about how men should keep it in their pants, because real men don't have sex with unconscious partners. Gah. Sexual politics piss me off.

Comments

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ziactrice
Dec. 9th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
Reading your entry sparked a crazy idea in my mind. What if we sponsored a contest for amateur film-makers to make a better commercial? There would be trademark issues with mentioning the specific product, but if we were making a parody (a good parody poking fun at that badness of their advertisement), I think even that issue could be dealt with.

I'd even be willing to put some money where my indignation lies, to make a pot o' winnings to be awarded to the best replacement parody ad filmed in said contest.

So, tell me - am I crazy, or is this possible? Because it would be VERY nice to see the style ad you're talking about, especially one that proponed free accessibility, no-questions-even-thought-about, buy it with your nail polish easily in the grocery store, dispensing.
attack_laurel
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
It sounds perfect for YouTube - all yu have to say is "morning-after pill", and not mention the brand. :)
(no subject) - copper_oxide - Dec. 9th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
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gargoyal3
Dec. 9th, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
Morning after pill is now approved for use up to 5 days after sex.
Just, y'know, FYI
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chargirlgenius
Dec. 9th, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
The RU-486 pill

Ah, yes. America. Where if you're going to have an abortion, you'd better believe you're going to be punished with an unnecessary and painful medical procedure.


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lorebubeck
Dec. 9th, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
Ok, I went to the Britain link, saw the add and burst out laughing. I think it's hysterical! Then I read the opinions and was appalled. AND THEN I burst out laughing again because in the middle of this condemnation of women behaving like irresponsible sluts who can't keep their legs together (never mind the men - they can't help themselves) there is a link: "Slinky and sexy: The perfect party dresses to kick-start the festive season". Baww ha ha ha!
ornerie
Dec. 9th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
I caught that too and giggled :)

ooo! sex is bad! but buy a sexy dress!
eithni
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
Just a short note from your resident PharmaGeek.

The "morning after" pill is essentially a high dose of birth control pills, intended to block pregnancy in much the same way that normal doses of birth control pills do, plus an action that helps block implantation. (In fact, before the morning after pill was available on the market, doctors could prescribe several oral contraceptives to be taken 4-12 at the same time, depending on the brand, to achieve the same effect.) However, there are some risks and some people who should not take it either because of their health or their particular situation. The over-the-pharmacy counter was the best option the US FDA would allow because of those potential risks.

RU-486, on the other hand, is a much more complicated and potentially dangerous drug that ends an established pregnancy. I agree that it should be readily available, but always should be used under a physician's care and carefully monitored.

However, I 1000% agree with your stance on "interventionist" pharmacists. Pharmacists who refuse medications to a patient for anything other than a valid medical reason should go work for a Catholic Hospital or just be kicked out of the profession and told to go find another job where they won't be hurting anyone already. Bastards.
chargirlgenius
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC)
RU-486, on the other hand, is a much more complicated and potentially dangerous drug that ends an established pregnancy. I agree that it should be readily available, but always should be used under a physician's care and carefully monitored.

Completely agree. Even aside from medical risks, I can see a huge potential for abuse. Boyfriend doesn't want the woman to keep the baby, but woman wants to keep the baby? Cup of coffee dosed with a little RU...

*shudder*
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evil_fionn
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
"and women who are married should get pregnant all the time, because they are merely vessels for the babies they carry, not people in their own right."

I wish this sentiment could be blamed on something other than the way humans have always been. The more I research ancient laws as they pertain to women, the more I find that women have always been seen in this light in a majority of cultures from time before time.
Its sad that one of the coolest things (in my opinion) that a woman can be a part of is also one of the things that, in a lot of cultures, makes her unfit for anything else.
colin_g
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
No means no. Sexual assault of any kind should never be excused by adding alcohol and cliques like "her eyes said yes..." I plan on my boys understanding that if you are going to do it be 110% sure it's a "yes" (and it might not hurt getting it in writing and notarized).

Hope you are having a happy holiday season.
attack_laurel
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC)
I am, thank you, and the same to you. :)
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raventhourne
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
Everyone else send better things than I could in my BC* state...all I can say is "AMEN, SISTAH!"

*before coffee
sircorby
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC)
I didn't know!
I guess my mistake was visiting Britain in June.
attack_laurel
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC)
Re: I didn't know!
Heh. They're much more crazy at Christmas. It's that Seasonal-Defective Disorder.
Re: I didn't know! - lorebubeck - Dec. 9th, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: I didn't know! - colin_g - Dec. 9th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
gargoyal3
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC)
yeah, so, I had ADVENTURES trying to get Plan B this summer. I was on Washington State you're-poor-health-plan (long story, having to do with being a TA at a VERY stingy University).
As of this spring, they no longer cover Plan B, it is now $30 per packet, out of pocket, even at planned parenthood. When I moved back to Oregon, I found out that it was $60 at the pharmacy, and that you could get an I'm-poor=discount by going to the county health clinic, but that you had to wait a week for an appointment, and have your annual again.
Seems to me that making it more and more difficult and expensive will only create a lot more underprivileged and slightly unwanted kidlets. NOT AWESOME.
ladyhelwynn
Dec. 9th, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC)
I had issues finding it once when it was still prescription. Many pharmacies just "didn't carry it". It was pissing off both my doctor and myself. She called numerous pharmacies until she actually could find one that had it and send the prescription there.

I can't imagine how hard it is to find now (haven't had the need to find it since) because even as a prescription med a lot of pharmacists felt they didn't need to offer it.
reasdream
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)
Awesome post.

Although I might not agree with her on everything, Margaret Sanger rocks and I would, if needed, go underground like she did to ensure women's right to Birth Control.

The "it's an abortion" people are probably the same ones who think life begins at conception, which I don't agree with, since Nature doesn't seem to think so (the number of fertilized eggs which are rejected by the body in the first 2 weeks is actually pretty high). Of course, I also think people should be taught about how common miscarriage is when they learn about sex and pregnancy, so I'm a little out there...
apollo_f1
Dec. 9th, 2008 03:30 pm (UTC)
My high school Biology teacher did include relevant info about miscarriages and granted it was a while back (math being done in head pre-coffee, shudder...23-24 years or so) but if I remember correctly in humans it is about 50% of the time that a fertized egg doesn't result in a pregancy to term.

(no subject) - _medb_ - Dec. 9th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
etinterrapax
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:46 pm (UTC)
I can't watch the ad right now, but there's a British Christian Right? I feel like an idiot for not supposing so. Apparently, without realizing it, I'd been classifying Christian zealotry as a uniquely American affliction.
hsifeng
Dec. 9th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
I think I've avoided thinking about it because it is just too disheartening to believe in. I'd rather believe in fairies and Santa thankyouverymuch! *grin*
(no subject) - mellifluous_ink - Dec. 10th, 2008 02:45 am (UTC) - Expand
hawkyns
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
The more I see of items like these, the more I think it is time to outlaw all religion. I do not need some zealot of any religion telling me how to think, or what my morals should be.

Agreed on the Brit way of Christmas, though. I really wouldn't mind a decent booze up with my family in Skipton, or my ECW regiment.

Hawkyns
runolfr
Dec. 9th, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC)
Can I give you an "amen"?
hsifeng
Dec. 9th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
*gah*

I was just reading this over the weekend, and had only finihsed slamming my head against the wall...*sigh*

*goes to find an unblemished wall*
asim
Dec. 9th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
I used that post for a jump-off to write about pro-choice and moral issues some time ago.
It's an ugly, but true, slice of reality. I hate all this "none for thee, and all for me when you're not looking" crap these folks spew.
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