The Sexist

Military Bases Still Not Required to Stock Emergency Contraception

What's worse than being a victim of one of the 2,688 "reported sexual assaults involving military personnel" in 2007? How about not being able to access emergency contraception following your assault?

Last week, a federal judge required that pharmacies offer emergency contraception over-the-counter to 17-year-olds (previously, it was only available to women 18 and up, with identification). Reproductive Health Reality Check reminds us that there's still a whole sector of adult women who may not be able to access the morning-after pill: Servicewomen. Writes Nancy Northup:

But emergency contraception is still difficult to access for many groups of women, including the more than 200,000 women serving in the Armed Services. It's excluded from the list of what military facilities, including the primary stores where families shop, are required to stock. That can be particularly challenging for women and families who are based overseas and rely solely on those facilities to buy over-the-counter drugs.

So, women are often unable to get emergency contraception in the place they need it the most—military facilities where sexual assault rates are high and access to alternative pharmacies is low. Northup calls for a campaign to request that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates "make Plan B available to our servicewomen." You can send the President a message here.

  • Eric

    If you are under 18 and in the military, what country do you live in? Last time I checked 18 was the minimum age requirement for enlistment. Oh, maybe the folks with home lives so bad that they actually get their parent's consent to enter the military early are joining up before 18 years of age? Is this how they are getting in so young and innocent?

  • Bethany

    Eric - - you're dumb. If you are in the military you might be living in any of the following places:
    the good ol' US of A
    and a whole bunch more!!!

    And 17 is the minimum age requirement for enlistment, (though it requires consent of the parents).

    Try reading a newspaper sometime.

  • Sara

    Eric - you missed the entire point of the article. It's not about 17 year old servicewomen not being able to get Plan B. It's about servicewomen in general - whether they're 17, 27, or 50 - not being able to get Plan B at military facilities. If you're stationed in Korea (or any of the many other places where we have a military presence), where do you think you go to get your medical needs met? On-base, to the pharmacy. And if the pharmacy doesn't carry Plan B, because it's not required to - well, you're just out of luck.

  • charlene

    A. rape is almost never prosecuted or even brought to trial. B. Abortion is 100% banned even in cases of rape and fetal deformities. C. Emergency contraceptive and morning after pills banned.
    Just got to love those right wing nut jobs.