Women On Reddit Discuss Buying Plan B For Other Women, Proving That The Sisterhood Is Real
Women look out for each other. And for proof of this far-reaching rule, look no further than a Reddit thread of women talking about buying Plan B for other women and girls. Because despite all the media stereotypes about women being catty or seeing each other as competitors, in my own experience, I've found that actually the opposite is true: Women look out for one another — especially when you see a teenage girl trying to get Plan B at the pharmacy but who doesn't have the cash to pay for it.
That in fact is exactly the scenario that kicked off this Reddit thread on the subreddit /r/twoXchromosomes. Reddit user carlinha1289, who lives in Quebec, was waiting in the pharmacy line with her kids when she overheard the teenage girl in front of her trying to get Plan B, which she hadn't realized would cost $20. Neither the girl or her friend had the cash to cover it.
"She then (and this is the part that really made me want to get involved) asked the pharmacist if it would show up on her debit card," the Reddit user writes. "The pharmacist obviously felt bad for her and told her it would probably show pharmacy or something. She said she would have to find another way."
Which is not ominous at all.
I remember being a teenager needing Plan B... My parents would probably have beaten the hell out of me if they found out, so I had to ask a friend to pick it up for me. It was $40 back then, so we had to ask her mom to pay it for us. Her mom did, thank goodness, and she also paid for some condoms.
So, it was my time to pay it forward and to ask that girl if she needed help paying for Plan B. I got up and politely told her that I over heard [sic] the conversation (it was just the 4 of us - and my kiddos) and that I'd like to pay for it if she doesn't mind. She looked super embarrassed and told me "it's for Plan B" and I just smiled and told her, "Hey, I've been there, I had to ask my mom's friend to pay it for me, I will save you the embarrassment." She agreed.
The woman then goes on to note that she's heard lots of other stories of women buying Plan B for other women, and I believe it. For one thing, I personally have done it — when I was in high school my state would only sell it to you if you were over eighteen (this has since changed; in fact, the FDA has dropped all age limits on the sale of Plan B), and I wound up buying it for a friend who didn't have a driver's license or any other way of proving her age. Because that's what you do.
In fact, it seems it's something that a lot of women do. The thread that emerged under carlinha1289's post quickly filled up with women comparing prices of Plan B, sharing horror stories of judge-y pharmacists, and swapping stories of helping other women get the contraception they need, regardless of the obstacles.
Here are a few stories from users on Reddit.
My friend called me crying in the middle of the night a few days ago. She had hooked up with a guy she just met and he came in her. She's not on birth control and thought he would pull out. Well, after the deed is done, the guy who she met only a few hours ago starts talking about how much he wants a baby and how he's gotten several girls pregnant before but they all got rid of them. My friend was shocked and worried this guy was purposely trying to knock her up. She only had four dollars in her bank account. Without her even asking, I bought it for her. Asked all the embarrassing questions she was too scared to ask. I've been there before too. In my case, a condom broke and the guy I was with was responsible enough to pay the $80 for the pill. I had no problem paying it forward to my friend.
I had to take a friend, and a friend of a friend to get one... Go figure she didn't have money, so I ponied up the bill... $60 in the states is ridiculous especially with so many young women getting pregnant... This should be available for free to any woman who is old enough to have sex
In my state you have to be female, 15 or older, and have a government ID (which they may or may not scan like they do when you buy cold medicine), so when my best friend who had no drivers license needed one, and her boyfriend wasn't a woman, and his brother didn't have enough money (it was $80!), they called me, because I had an ID card. Later, my parents forced me to tell them who I bought it for but I don't think they told her parents because I said I would. people are having sex, folks, no matter how many times you tell them not to. Why on earth would we make it so hard to do it responsibly so that panic-inducing days like this don't happen.
I recently had to purchase a plan B alternative for a family member of mine. She is 19 and was petrified of telling her parents she was assaulted. I paid $80 of my own money, made her an appointment for birth control and offered to take her to the police department. For someone her age, with no debit card, irresponsible/immature parents, and no drivers license it would have been impossible for her to raise a child. Even worse, a child from sexual assault. Plan B should be widely available and affordable. (In my county in Florida, it's not.) I still get weepy thinking about her experience and wish I could have done more.
[My] mother has also been the Plan B saint in my town. We lived quite near the High School [sic], so most teens in town had been at our house at one point or another. After my mom had driven a couple of my brother and [my] friends to the 24/7 pharmacy, rumor spread and girls who we only vaguely knew would come knocking on my mothers [sic] door in the early hours.
Plan B is one of those things that no one ever really wants to need, but if you do need it, you need it, which is why it's awesome to see women helping each other get access to this vital form of contraceptive.
And since this thread is also full of stories of judgmental pharmacists, I'll also take this opportunity to clear up a few things: In the United States, anyone can buy Plan B, regardless of age or gender (though pharmacists apparently don't always know this and sometimes refuse to sell to men). There also isn't any danger associate with multiple uses so long as you aren't taking it twice during the same cycle. And, of course, Plan B is not an abortion pill.
Despite the fact that is safe, FDA approved for all ages, and doesn't cause abortions, however, there have been instances of pharmacists refusing to sell it — which can actually be illegal depending on the state, so don't hesitate to insist if you need to. Plus, for young people especially the cost of Plan B can be prohibitive, depending again on where you live.
But it is nice to know there are people out there willing to help out friends, family, and even strangers get the access they deserve. Like I said, women look out for other women. And the fact that it's unfortunate that we have to doesn't make these acts of solidarity any less awesome.