When did Plan B become plan A? Blogger claims she's part of emergency birth control epidemic

(image via usermeds.com)(image via usermeds.com)
New York City-area pharmacies are running low on Plan B pills, and one blogger thinks she knows why.

"We are clearly abusing it. OK, at least I am," admits XOJane blogger Cat Marnell. "Once I took it three times in one month!"

In a rant that's causing a near riot among lady-bloggers, Marnell calls the $50 emergency birth control option the "world's greatest contraceptive," and makes a strange argument for its use as a primary method of safe sex. Then she finishes up by pointing the finger at women for overusing it. Huh?

Plan B, the super-powered hormone dosage pill, functions like a standard birth control pill only much, much stronger. Designed to delay ovulation to prevent pregnancy up to 72 hours after intercourse, it's supposed to be a back-up option, if, say, one's first line of defense falls through. But using it more than one time a month will confuse a woman's body to seriously shake up her menstrual cycle. And there's evidence that the more regularly you take Plan B, the less effective it is. It also doesn't protect from STDs.

But Marnell claims she won't use condoms because "I don't sleep with that many people" and she won't use the standard birth control pill because she'll forget to take it and it will make her 'fat'.

So Plan B has become her first line of defense, she admits in a way that seems more boastful than repentant.

Not everyone (actually mostly no one) thinks Marnell's safe sex plan is a smart one, or even as commonly practiced as she thinks.

"I think there are definitely women (and men!) out there making some seriously irresponsible choices when it comes to protecting themselves, but I don't think "lots" (as Marnell asserts in the comments) are "def" doing it as flippantly as Marnell," writes The Frisky's Amelia McDonell-Parry.

But are writers like Marnell, tacitly giving approval to abuse a pill that doesn't offer the best overall protection? Most definitely, says The Gloss' Jennifer Wright.

"It's like watching someone walk in front of traffic and laugh about how they're a 'crazy kook' afterwards. As a sane person, that is terrifying to watch," asserts Wright. "Furthermore, it's like this person has a national platform on 'how not to get hit by cars.'"

But just as there's a danger of making sweeping, uninformed generalizations about women, there's a danger of attacking someone for being open about the mistakes they make. If Marnell's misconception of "safe sex" really does resonate with women, the first step is admitting it. Unfortunately, she stops short of exploring the next step: choosing a better birth control plan.

Related:
9 surprising things about birth control
Morning after pill could work the night before
How young is too young for Plan B?