Monthly Reminder
Published On: March 23, 2024

Hey, so the algorithm gods that run our lives HAAAAATE it when I talk about abortion on instagram. If you’re on there, can you like and/or comment and/or share my post about it there? It absolutely helps more people see it, and damn it, folks need the info!

Good news! Over the counter hormonal birth control pills are finally available in the US. You can get them at drug stores, online from Opill, and even from amazon.*

We’re talking about the pill because restriction on abortion and limits on contraception go hand in hand. Yes, they are coming for your birth control next (cough, already, cough, Texas). Many abortion bans include language that is intentionally vague enough to apply to contraceptives. And they are ALL limitations on your bodily autonomy. And they just keep getting broader and bolder. So when something like over the counter birth control pills, which increase our bodily autonomy, come along, we gotta shout about it. Let’s do that!

These pills are:

• SAFE It’s a progestin-only pill, and people are able to self-screen for safety on those with the same accuracy as doctors. If your first though is ‘oh, oh but is it safe, oh no, shouldn’t a doctor do that?!?’ there’s a good starting reference from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists over here. The Food and Drug Administration’s page about it is here, and there you’ll find a link to the actual application where the drug manufacturer had to show that people were able to self screen for these safely.

• EFFECTIVE They’re about 98% effective with perfect use, a bit less with normal use. It’s a progestin-only pill, so it’s important to take them at the same time each day (within the same 3 hour window). If you are more than 3 hours late, you should use a condom or other form of contraception for the next 48 hours. There’s a good discussion of progestin-only pills here.

• (more) ACCESSIBLE Not everyone can go to the doctor. Whether because of cost, or privacy, or age, or transportation, or child care, or scheduling, or trauma, or something else, some people just can’t. Making birth control available over the counter means more people can get it. It’s not perfect, and cost is still a barrier (Opill says they’ll have a cost assistance program for folks who can’t afford it, but as of today, they don’t have any information about it up yet), but it helps!

This is a win. We have to celebrate those, because there are far too few of them. Now, spread the word so everyone who needs them knows!

P.S. The folks over on patreon make it possible for me to do this every month. And every month it makes me feel a tiny bit less hopeless about…everything. This month we’re doing an extra big donation because someone was kind enough to ask me to add what I would have paid them for their work on a project into this instead. Y’all really are amazing, thank you for making this sort of thing possible!

* Yes, amazon is the devil, but for some folks, that’s what they have access to, and it’s way way way more important  for people to get what they need than to avoid shopping with the devil. And yes, that is an affiliate link, because if I’m gonna send folks to shop with somewhere gross, then I’m going to let that gross place give a tiny bit of the money they make to me instead of keeping it for themselves. You can totally just put ‘Opill’ into their search bar and find it that way instead if that bugs you.

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