In November 2017, I bought an old medicine cabinet off Craigslist and took it to a reproductive health conference in downtown Los Angeles. It had been a year since I worked with public health researchers to launch Plan C, an informational website on abortion pills. When Plan A (contraception) and Plan B (emergency contraception) didn't work or weren’t available, Plan C represented a combination of medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, that could be taken at home to end an early pregnancy. At the booth, I set up the medicine cabinet next to folded origami-style Plan C pill boxes, a stand-in for the actual medication, and invited attendees to take “shelfies” while posing a simple and radical question: Why don’t we have these safe and effective pills in our home, in case of a late period or unwanted pregnancy?
From the beginning, Plan C was not just a public health information campaign, it was a catalyst for the transformative potential of abortion pills. Our site includes research on reputable and tested sources for getting abortion pills at home in all states, plus FAQs and free hotlines to get legal and medical questions answered. By empowering people to access these pills independently and safely, we recognized the shift in collective power and personal agency that comes with direct access: It changes how people think about abortion. My co-founders witnessed this firsthand in countries where abortion pills are more easily accessible, a policy that is grounded in decades of research showing how safe and effective these medications are for self-use. Plan C set out to not only increase awareness of this transformative method in the U.S., but to help make the reality of expanded access impossible to ignore.