Kathryn Blass,TFF College Intern
On Tuesday, the Virginia Women’s Equality Coalition unveiled their legislative agenda for the 2016 General Session. Complaining about a perceived lack of "access to birth control," NARAL announced an intention to see 12 month prescriptions for birth control, so that women are not forced to go to the pharmacy every 30-90 days and risk not getting their birth control, putting them in imminent danger of an unwanted pregnancy. Yes, apparently having to actually travel to the pharmacy is now hindering access to birth control; and to take this to the fullness of feminism, having to travel to a pharmacy is a war on women.
NARAL had a college student from VCU speak. She complained how expensive birth control and abortions are, but my personal favorite point was that, because she’s in college, it is hard for her and her friends to keep up on their birth control. College students travel a lot making it difficult to get to the pharmacy, and heaven forbid you run out of birth control during exam week, because getting to the pharmacy would be quite hard.
Well, guess what, I’m a college student and take a couple of different prescription medications, and it’s not that hard to keep up on your medication. In fact, it’s called being an adult. While I don’t travel for university events, such as sports or performances, I have friends that do. They know the dates they will be traveling, so ensuring one has enough medication to last the trip is common sense. Every college kid has a brutal exam week, so why is it a burden for women to run to the pharmacy to pick up birth control, but not a burden for me to run to the pharmacy to pick up my asthma inhaler? In fact, I would argue that picking up a prescription should be a welcome study break. For example:
Walking from dorm/library to car: 15 minutes
Drive time to pharmacy: 5-15 minutes
Wait time at the pharmacy: 5 minutes
Drive back to campus: 5-15 minutes
Walk back to dorm/library: 15 minutes
That’s just over an hour. But the amount of things you can get done in that hour of running to the pharmacy is incredible. Call your parents while walking to the car. Eat a granola bar while driving. If your wait time at the pharmacy is going to be long, bring some flash cards with you. Call a sibling, while walking back to the dorm. The possibilities are endless. Granted the distance between campus and pharmacy varies based on college, but most colleges will have a pharmacy relatively close. And if one’s pharmacy is too far away from campus, then plan ahead. It’s the adult thing to do.
Before I started getting my prescriptions locally, I used to have my parents ship my them from our pharmacy in Michigan to campus here in Virginia, which required at least a week in advance planning, if I didn’t want to run out. So, ladies of the Virginia Women’s Equality Coalition, go ahead and advocate for a 12 month long prescription (having that for all medications would be nice luxury) but don’t claim that going to the pharmacy hinders access of college students to birth control. It’s called being an adult. I promise treating us as adults won’t hurt us.