Plan B

SIT DOWN. Yes, you are going to want to sit down and read this.

We have many potential patients who come to LO seeking Plan B. “Plan B One-Step® emergency contraception is a backup plan that helps prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure. The sooner it’s taken, the better it works.


It contains levonorgestrel, the same hormone used in many birth control pills—just at a higher dose. It should not be used as regular birth control, because it’s not as effective.”  This is what is written on the Plan B website.

I got curious…and I called a pharmacy and asked a couple of questions. Plan B One-Step costs $49.99. If it is a prescription, it can be covered by medical insurance. How many times does that happen?  I don’t know a doctor who would give someone a prescription without an office visit first. How often have you been able to get into your doctor on the same day you needed? The pharmacist told me that most of the time, payments are made with cash or credit.

There is no age restriction, either. WHAT? No age restriction? AND the boyfriend can buy it for his girlfriend. Which also means that a sex trafficker can buy it for girls he traffics. “Here, take this. We don’t need you pregnant after that sexual encounter last night,” sneers the captor.

I remember a conversation I had with a patient some years ago when I asked her if she had ever used Plan B.  Of course, she had a couple of times.

“Do you know how Plan B works?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she answered, “You don’t get pregnant.”

“But how does Plan B prevent that?”  I asked.  I received a blank stare. After I asked her if she wanted to know, I continued. “There are three ways in which Plan B can work. Depending on where you are in your cycle, Plan B may prevent ovulation. In other words, the egg will not be released. Second, it can prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. Third, Plan B irritates the lining of your uterus, keeping the egg from implanting. If that egg is already fertilized, it causes an early abortion.

“They never told me that,’’ answered the patient. “How do you know which way it works, which time?  I mean, every time I take Plan B, I could be having an abortion?”  she gasped.

Immediately, her eyes filled with tears, “I had no idea. I am so against abortion. They never told me.”

Parents, are you aware of this? Did you know that someone else can buy Plan B for your daughter, or your son can buy Plan B for his girlfriend without your knowledge? Do you also know that Plan B is only  95% effective if taken within 24 hours, but only 89% effective within 72 hours? It’s not failsafe. You could still get pregnant.

If you are already pregnant from a previous encounter, it will not end the pregnancy.  In the state of Washington, anyone’s daughter can have an abortion up to the end of the pregnancy without parental permission.

Here’s the happy part.  When a woman comes to us looking for Plan B, we can compassionately ask her if she would like a pregnancy test.

If she has a positive pregnancy test, she won’t need Plan B. She will need a shoulder to cry on, an ultrasound and the ability to explore all of her options with someone who won’t judge her.

If the test is negative, we can offer her STD testing and provide education on healthy relationships and sexual integrity.  Most importantly, during these times, she will be shown the love of Jesus Christ. And if she wants, she can learn strategies and concepts for her most successful life ever, here on this earth and for eternity.


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