A Broken Condom & A Rude Pharmacist


Last Tuesday the Food and Drug Administration announced that the Plan B One-Step, the emergency contraception,will become available over the counter for people over age fifteen. Unfortunately, those fifteen-year-olds need to provide a state-issued form of identification (and let’s be honest, did YOU have an I.D. at fifteen?), which means many still won’t have access.

The recent decision reminded me of the last time I needed to take Plan B. The pharmacist treated me like garbage, guffaw-ing at the price of the pills when he handed them to me. I look back now and wish I would have defiantly shared the enormous amount of money it takes to raise a child or go through a full-term pregnancy, but I didn’t. I was feeling nervous and shaky, and I just wanted to prevent fertilization in my womb.

Here’s the deal: I was twenty-three-years-old and having sex in a committed, monogamous relationship. We were taking all of the proper precautions. We both went in for STI testing. We used condoms EVERY time (none of this “just the tip” bullshit). We were model “safer sex” citizens.

Then a condom broke.

Well, it didn’t break so much as it exploded.

The top of the condom literally ripped off at the last second.  We sat there staring at the perfectly smooth latex tip on the bed. Not exactly postcoital bliss.  Shit.

Fortunately, we discussed unplanned pregnancy in our relationship’s early days (and frequently thereafter, up until present day). We both rattled off the list of next steps. Naturally I would go pick up emergency contraception. He would cover his half–because that’s how it works in an egalitarian relationship–and if for some ridiculously unlikely reason Plan B didn’t work, we would hold hands and go get an abortion.

I stood in line at the local Walgreens pharmacy the next morning, waiting anxiously. I couldn’t get the damn pills fast enough. I told the pharmacist what I needed. He threw the pills on the counter, looked me up and down, and said, “You know these are expensive, right?”

Right there. That’s the moment I go back to in my head. That’s the moment I wish I would have rattled off a laundry list of statistics.

Guess what? Plan B was a bit pricey at that moment in time (around $50 or so), and we didn’t want to spend the money, but do you know what is more expensive than emergency contraception pills? Child birth. Feeding a kid. Diapers. Daycare.  So fuck off pharmacist in West Jordan, Utah, and pharmacists everywhere, just give the kids their emergency contraception, because if they can barely afford birth control, how are they going to afford pregnancy and raising a child?


  1. LeeAnn says:

    Loved this! Truly. I am so tired of the way a lot of people in our state (and many others) look at sex education, teaching about safe sex practices and also Plan B. I myself have a personal view on abortion, NOT being supportive of someone trying to be responsible by doing their best to stop fertilization (because that’s what it does people, not abort an actual fetus) is just stupid. Sorry for venting, I just happen to feel strongly about this topic.

  2. “I look back now and wish I would have defiantly shared the enormous amount of money it takes to raise a child or go through a full-term pregnancy, but I didn’t” …. so that’s what a baby is all about to you… money. The pharmacist looking down on you is wrong, but your reasoning for feeling inferior or anger towards him is more disturbing.

  3. people who think their beliefs are better than others’ beliefs shouldn’t be allowed to work in a pharmacy

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