The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Student health center offers morning-after pill

I never thought the day would come when I would praise the work done in the Klotz Student Health Center. All of the center’s employees are well-meaning and more kind than some administrators on campus. Yet my interactions with them, from trying to schedule a meningitis vaccination to trying to confirm facts for stories, have made me want to tear my hair out in the past. It’s best not to even get me started on the mandatory 90-minute birth control information sessions.

I nearly forgot all of these past frustrations, however, when I found out that the health center makes the drug Plan B available to CSUN students-and to get Plan B you don’t even have to go through the birth control counseling. I can only hope that the regular sessions will be done away with as well.

Before the anti-choice fanatics start frothing at the mouth about some liberal bias, here are some straight facts about the drug. Plan B consists of two small white pills: both of which must be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex. The debate is mixed on how long you can effectively take Plan B after having sex (even the FDA does not have guidelines on their site with the information), but some studies have found that a woman can take it up to 120 hours (five days) after having sex.

People routinely call Plan B the “abortion drug”-something that was inspired in part, I’m sure, by the contraceptive’s misrepresentatie name. What its opponents assume, however, is that the only users of Plan B are stupid, obnoxious individuals who cannot be bothered with “traditional” birth control such as condoms or the pill. Such people treat Plan B as though it is just another form of birth control, popping it like candy after each unprotected sexual encounter. These irresponsible users of the drug just strengthen opposition to Plan B.

But what nay-sayers of the drug must realize is that not everyone uses Plan B as though it is recreational. Rather, the drug is used in panicked situations where a couple was responsible yet still faced an unfortunate outcome-for instance, using a condom that accidentally breaks-or in the event of something far more serious: rape.

Another thing the drug’s opponents have to realize is that sometimes Plan B is the only choice after a genuine mistake or a horrible crime. Until this is understood by individuals who consider anything after conception an abortion, oppression and refusal to give the drug will continue. At the moment, only eight states-California included-provide direct access in pharmacies to emergency contraception. Target made headlines recently when one of the company’s pharmacists refused to give a customer Plan B. Representatives of the company said that due to provisions in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and company policy, their pharmacists do not have to dispense drugs they feel uncomfortable giving out-medication they feel is wrong or immoral.

Evidently, denying a drug to someone who needs it is seen as perfectly moral and godly, but Target doesn’t have any corporate materials regarding customers’ rights, apparently.

The issue of pharmacists’ rights over customers’ is not limited to states whose laws hinder a woman’s pharmacy access to Plan B, however. Even in California, there have been cases where a pharmacist refuses to fill a prescription for the drug. This is a scene that has been repeated across the country. This oppression is not limited to conservative states or the ever-dangerous South Dakota; pharmacists can limit a woman’s right to emergency contraception in even the most liberal of areas.

But thankfully not at the Klotz Student Health Center. Now I just have to get them to drop the mandatory birth control counseling, but that’s another opinion piece altogether.

Lauren Robeson can be reached at

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