The morning-after pill is a contraceptive pill that you take after you have unprotected sex with your partner so that you can avoid getting pregnant. The morning-after pill is often considered by many as a woman’s Plan B— she forgot to take her pill beforehand or her partner forgot to use a condom or the condom broke. However, if both men and women are engaging in a sexual relationship, why is it only the woman who can buy the morning pill? Why can’t the man also take part in this responsibility?
In the UK, many pharmacies such as Click Pharmacy refuse to give contraceptive morning-after pills to men—even if they claim it is for their sisters, their friends, their partners, or their wives. In fact, in the U.S. where men are allowed to buy the morning-after pill, they still refuse to sell pills to men.
A January study conducted by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health highlighted that out of 158 pharmacies in three neighborhoods of New York City, 19 percent of pharmacies did not sell the after-morning pill to men.
Well, there are two reasons behind this. Many see the morning pill as part of a woman’s decision to buy the pill. If the husband does buy it, it could insinuate that he is forcing the woman despite her will. And the second problem is that many hold the woman responsible for the morning-after pill because at the end of the day it is she who gets pregnant. What a lot of people do not understand is that in a relationship if a woman does procreate, it is the responsibility of both, the man and the woman, to look after the child. Because at the end of the day it takes two to tango.
For this reason alone, men should be allowed to buy the morning-after pill for their partners. Allowing the men to buy their pill for their partners would promote the idea of shared responsibility. Parenting brings with it a lot of financial, emotional, and physical labor. While the woman does bear the child, the child does not magically become only hers. The morning-after pill is also the man’s responsibility because if the condom does break, then the man is also responsible for the child. Men want to buy the pill, and allowing men to buy a pill will make the man liable and accountable for how things turn out. Men want to buy the pill for their partners because their future is also affected by how things turn out. It gives them a sense of security, too.
Furthermore, if men buy the pill, it has an even more positive outcome for the couple. If a man is engaging in sexual intercourse with his partner, then mostly they have talked about their future, the things they want and do not want. Even though the spur of the moment might make them forget the things at that moment, a man buying the pill before or after sex can ensure the safety of their decisions. The woman will feel happy that her partner respects her decision to not want to be pregnant. It will signify to her that the man does take her wishes into account and that he also considers himself responsible for how things turn out. This really influences a relationship as women do second-guess their partner’s commitment in the long run, especially because of a rapid increase in the number of single mothers and absent fathers.
Moreover, the morning-after pill is expensive and has many side-effects. If a man does buy the pill, it would be a positive step, as once again he would be partaking in the responsibility that he is answerable for. While the man cannot take the pill, he can be there for the women in this way while she suffers the side-effects of the pill, making her feel better. If a man is up for recreation and not procreation, it is also his duty to make sure that protection is ensured. Allowing men to buy the pill is a positive step as it will teach men accountability and it will reduce the chances of abortions and father-less children as it is not always possible for women to buy the pill, mostly because of the expense.
Ironically, even though condoms are something that cover up men, women are still expected to carry them around. This is again based on the idea that they need to be accountable and worried about the outcome for they end up carrying the baby. Women, in this case, end up buying all kinds of birth control, which sums up to a hefty price. If men buy the morning-after pill for their loved ones, that price can be shared along with the responsibility.
A research carried out by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed how women also wanted men to be more involved in choosing contraception. At least 75 percent of the women reported that they wanted men to take more responsibility for ensuring that contraception is always used. And it was not just the women. Men from the study knew that women want more men to take part in this. In fact, 67 percent of men agreed that they should be more involved when it comes to contraception, and 72 percent also claimed that they need to play a bigger role in ensuring that contraception be used.
If men and women both want men to partake in buying the morning-after pill, then why should it not be allowed?