Things to Do

Take a Chill Pill

In 1960, a new medication was released that sparked the second-wave feminist movement and the sexual revolution. It was the Pill, of course -- a daily prescription-only pharmaceutical that kept women from getting pregnant. And there was much rejoicing.

But there was something missing. It was another drug -- the "oh-shit-I-forgot-to-take-my-Pill-yesterday" pill. And it only took the Food and Drug Administration until August of this year -- that's 46 spins around the sun -- to allow American women beyond the age of eighteen over-the-counter access to emergency contraception (EC). Gee, thanks, FDA, for the quick action. We really appreciate it.

For the uninitiated, EC works like this: If you have unprotected sex and take EC, it will prevent any possibly fertilized eggs from taking hold to the uterine lining. Unwanted pregnancy averted. And EC can work within 120 hours of the unprotected intercourse. But the sooner you take it, the more effective it is likely to be. So if your pharmacy is closed over the weekend and the condom breaks on Friday night ... well, you might be testing your luck.

Or not. On Wednesday, December 6, Planned Parenthood is offering free EC to anyone who wants it. Having some in the medicine cabinet will surely save you some sleepless nights. Call 1-800-230-PLAN to find the Planned Parenthood nearest you. -- Amber Taufen

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts