US women stock up on birth control amid fears Roe v Wade will be overturned

‘Get as much Plan B as possible, for you, your friends and their kids,’ warns one Twitter user. ‘Birth control will be next’

Nathan Place
New York
Thursday 05 May 2022 22:03
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What the US Supreme Court leak means for Roe v Wade and abortion rights in America

As the Supreme Court looks poised to overturn the key cases protecting abortion rights, many American women say they’re preparing for the worst.

“We have to prepare for contraceptives to also be targeted,” Arlin Tellez, 23, told Bloomberg. “At this point, the possibilities are endless, so I’d rather be prepared.”

After the court’s draft majority opinion – declaring Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey “must be overruled” – leaked to the public, women across social media said they were stocking up on Plan B pills, making appointments to get intrauterine devices, and taking other steps in case their rights are revoked.

Ms Tellez, a university student in Washington DC, says she made an appointment to get an IUD. Many on Twitter said they were doing the same thing.

“Got an IUD when Trump was elected president because I was worried about my reproductive rights,” one user wrote. “Five years later and it’s time to get a new IUD. Still have the same fears. Things have only gotten worse.”

“Get as much Plan B as possible, for you, your friends and their kids,” someone else urged her followers. “Birth control will be next... Support public health clinics. Consider an IUD. Buy condoms.”

On Monday, Politico published a copy of the draft opinion, written by the Republican-appointed justice Samuel Alito.

Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Justice Alito wrote. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

The opinion is not a final ruling, but four other conservative justices have reportedly voted to support it, forming a majority on the nine-justice bench.

When the news broke, one woman told Bloomberg, she immediately bought 24 packs of Plan B, the emergency contraceptive pill.

“We’re already in a reality where individual states are going to limit women’s access to FDA-approved options to deal with their own body and their own life,” Sara Sanchez, 43, told the news site. “It seems like a thing that I could do in the face of feeling very disempowered.”

Elisa Wells, co-founder of Plan C, a non-profit that shares information on mail-order abortion pills, says such precautions are not an overreaction.

“This will be a public health emergency,” Ms Wells told Bloomberg. “People are smart to be prepared by obtaining abortion pills in advance and keeping them in their medicine cabinets just in case.”

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