Photo caption story on the Morning-After Pill
March 2004

Feminists hold up Morning-After Pills (brand name Plan B) and regular birth control pills, as part of a civil disobedience action called "Give Your Friend the Morning-After Pill Day" February 15, the morning after Valentines Day in front of the Alligator's offices on West University Avenue. The demonstration drew about 60 people.

To pressure the Food and Drug Administration to make the pill an over-the-counter medication like condoms or aspirin, women gave a packet to a friend. The FDA has been considering over-the-counter status but on Feb. 13 delayed their long-awaited decision for 90 days. An FDA advisory board voted 23 to 4 on Dec. 16th to approve over the counter sales of the drug, which they judged much safer than aspirin or regular birth control pills.

The women announced that over 400 women have sent their names to the FDA pledging to break the law by giving a friend the "Morning-After Pill" on Feb. 15 "or any day she needs it." Because the drug still requires a prescription, this is a violation that can carry up to a $500 fine. The women declared, "Stop making us criminals" and urged others to sign up on the pledge by sending their name to

Most regular birth control pills can be taken in combination to form the Morning-After Pill, the dosages are listed at, but they must be taken within 96 hours after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy, and are most effective in the first 24 hours, or the sooner you take them. Plan B is the brand name of a pill packaged specifically for the purpose.

Several women spoke about trying to quickly get a doctor's appointment and a prescription, and fill a prescription in the time immediately after a condom broke or they had unprotected sex. Others spoke of giving their unused birth control pills to a friend when she needed it. At least two women showed up at the demonstration because they needed the morning-after pill that morning. A simultaneous press conference was held in New York City.

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