Monday, June 05, 2006

What Happens When There Is No Plan B?

Dana L. writes for the Washington Post about how the conservative so-called "culture of life" policies of the Bush administration forced her to have an abortion she didn't want.

Dana L. is a 42 year old happily married mother of two who found herself pregnant to her husband accidently:

My husband and I both work, and like many couples, we're starved for time together. One Thursday evening this past March, we managed to snag some rare couple time and, in a sudden rush of passion, I failed to insert my diaphragm.

The next morning, after getting my kids off to school, I called my ob/gyn to get a prescription for Plan B, the emergency contraceptive pill that can prevent a pregnancy -- but only if taken within 72 hours of intercourse. As we're both in our forties, my husband and I had considered our family complete, and we weren't planning to have another child, which is why, as a rule, we use contraception. I wanted to make sure that our momentary lapse didn't result in a pregnancy.

And that's where it all started to go wrong.

Dana's doctor refused to prescribe Plan B. After trying a few other potential sources, real life interupted and Dana found the 72 hour window of opportunity had gone by... and she was pregnant. And that's where she found herself entering the murky Twilight Zone of legal -- just -- abortions in the USA:

All the while, I was thinking that if religion hadn't been allowed to seep into American politics the way it has, I wouldn't even be there. This all could have been stopped way before this baby was conceived if they had just let me have that damn pill.
It was a decision I am sorry I had to make. It was awful, painful, sickening. But I feel that this administration gave me practically no choice but to have an unwanted abortion because the way it has politicized religion made it well-nigh impossible for me to get emergency contraception that would have prevented the pregnancy in the first place.

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