“Plan B” confusion

Jodie’s* story is common in our clinics. So many don’t know the risks.

The Plan B pill, also called “emergency contraception” is used so commonly by our clients. The hormone pill, if taken within 72 hours after having sex, can prevent pregnancy by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary or preventing fertilization. It is often relied upon as a primary birth control method even though it’s not as reliable. 

The pill is available online and at most pharmacies for prices between $25 and $50. 

According to Guttmacher, a pro-choice research institute: 

  • One in nine sexually experienced women of reproductive age have used this pill, as of 2010. That has surely risen sharply in the last decade. 
  • Women report two main reasons for taking this pill: Forty-five percent fear that their regular method will fail, and 49% report having had unprotected sex.

Jodie* took the pill a week after having sex. Her stomach began hurting so she made an appointment at our Central Dallas Clinic thinking something was wrong.  She requested that we terminate her pregnancy. She was told we don’t provide those services, but she agreed to come in for a sonogram. 

In a very soft-spoken voice Jodie told me, “I am too young, and we can’t afford to raise a baby.”  I could tell she was very scared to tell me she was considering termination and that everyone, including her boyfriend, didn’t want her to keep the baby.  She had a lot of questions about the pill she took and her stomach pain.  I told her that she took the pill too late, but the sonogram would confirm whether or not she actually had a baby.  

During the sonogram, she tearfully smiled. She was seven weeks pregnant but still undecided. When I asked if I could pray for her, she responded with a loud, exuberant voice, “Oh, yes, please! My grandmother is a believer, and she would love this place!” The client cried and cried but seemed to be happy rather than sad.   

Another of our clinic nurses called her two days later. Jodie was “giddy with excitement” and planning to parent with full support from her family. 

*Client names changed to protect privacy