The Morning-After Pill
Click here for our Timeline detailing the history of the Morning-After Pill campaign.
The Morning-Pill Conspiracy Coalition
FDA Headquarters - Rockville, MD - January 7, 2005
Morning-After Pill Conspiracy - History
The Morning-After Pill (MAP) Conspiracy is a coalition of feminist organizations leading the grassroots fight against restrictions on the Morning-After Pill. The coalition was founded in January 2004 when the MAP was only available in the U.S. through a doctor’s prescription. Our name is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that under such restrictive conditions many women obtained these pills from a friend, thus conspiring to break the law just to get a safe form of birth control. Getting a prescription from a doctor and then filling that prescription within the 24 hours that the pill is most effective was virtually impossible for most women. This caused many women to seek out friends who worked in health clinics to gain access and to stockpile packages for friends. (Click here to read women’s testimonies about trying to get the pill when it was available by prescription only.)
In August 2006 women won a major victory when the FDA announced, after years of unnecessary delay, that it would make the pill available at pharmacies for women ages 18 an older. We believe that grassroots organizing by women was a major factor in the FDA finally easing restrictions.
The Morning-After Pill Conspiracy used a variety of creative methods to protest the FDA and the Bush Administration’s stance on the MAP, including speak-outs and civil disobedience. Our goal was to highlight the injustice of the prescription requirement and to show that women are the real experts when it comes to birth control.
On February 15, 2004, we started passing out the Morning-After Pill (MAP) publicly to women that wanted it, defying the unjust prescription requirement. We were proud to follow in the footsteps of feminists like Margaret Sanger, who passed out information on birth control when it was illegal to do so, and suffragists who were arrested for voting, to showcase how unjust the laws were.
In addition, over 4,400 women, from all 50 states, signed our pledge to “Give a Friend the Morning-After Pill,” thereby defying the prescription requirement.
We held speak-outs and passed out the pill in New York City, Washington DC, and Gainesville, Florida. In January of 2005 nine of us were arrested in a sit-in at FDA headquarters. We blocked access to the FDA, just like they were blocking women’s access to birth control.
Nine MAP Conspiracy members also became plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the FDA filed with the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR). We are charging the agency with discrimination against women and failure to follow medical science in their decisions on the MAP. The lawsuit could result in the removal of the age restriction and behind-the-counter status. Click here to read about the lawsuit on the CRR website.
The MAP Conspiracy includes:
* The Women's Liberation
Birth-Control Project (formerly New York NOW
* Gainesville (FL) Women’s Liberation
* Gainesville Area (FL) National Organization for Women (NOW)
* University of Florida Campus NOW
* Florida NOW Young Feminist Task Force
* New Morning Foundation - South Carolina