How far did I have to go to find this picture? To the UK where ella, the new "You have five days to take care of your unprotected sex encounter" pill is now available. Approved this week by the FDA as available by prescription in the U.S., none of the stories about it showed what its packaging looked like.
Call me paranoid, but this seems just another symptom of how frightened officials here are about making this breakthrough contraceptive pill available. If you don't see it, will it go away? Please.
In a braver time for women who demanded control over our own bodies, there's this heartbreaking pin in my jewelry box. Every now and then it appears on my shirt. Probably has no meaning for women with no memory of time before Roe v. Wade. Each time I look at it, I feel the sadness of my own experience and exasperation about the unwon battle for reproductive justice. A recent find of a hangar slipcover left from our son's wedding in New Orleans (the year before Katrina) moved me to think about writing a post, "Meditation on a Hangar." But celebrating ella is more upbeat and hopeful for the future of my grandchildren.
My English friend Gillian who lived downstairs in my 4th apartment in Manhattan in two-year span and the one I returned to after my own illegal 1957 abortion, would entertain as she described the dime store wedding band almost slipping off her ring finger during her visit to the NYC Planned Parenthood (link not historical indicates the ongoing struggle). Why were we laughing? We had cried so many times.
That was New York City in the 1950s when the only way a woman could get a diaphragm was visit to a gynecologist for a prescription. Expensive. The cheaper alternative was PP. Gillian developed a complicated story for the doctor there. At the time, the gyn would ask the patient supplicant to see if she could use the device properly. And so the ring began to slip. Her story became more hilarious when she returned to PP for a new diaphragm the following year and saw the same woman doctor who remembered her. Gillian was seriously challenged to update her marital story.
All this to say, I wish the organizations that support CHOICE would spend some of our support bucks on powerful imagery. Then get a couple of those "girls" on the TV show "Mad Men" to appear in national advertising with one on their breasts. From what I can see here of the ella pill, that would be a fine design, surrounded by the message, "Five days to Choice." Sure, you can think up a better one but will the orgs listen to old ladies?
UPDATE: The one place that gets my money in this never-ending struggle is the Center for Reproductive Rights. Check their site for all their important legal work that could use your support .