Column: Plan B failed; what’s Plan C?


Photo credit: Tracy Tragos

A truck sponsored by Plan C drives around rural Texas before the abortion ban. Plan C has been providing telemedicine resources for women to access abortions.

By Charlotte Tragos, Columnist

The last abortion was performed at 1:59 p.m. on Aug. 31 in Texas. 

How soon until Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah follow? How soon until the 39 states without trigger bans succeed? How soon until it’s too late? What do girls or women in situations of accidental pregnancy do if they don’t have access to abortion healthcare? What do women do if their contraception or Plan B doesn’t work? What do people do who are raped, have unhealthy pregnancies or just don’t want to become a parent?  Is forced pregnancy really where we are headed? 

It’s a big, overwhelmingly unfair ask to tell young girls that they have to protect themselves. We hear this messaging in date rape drugs, our “responsibilities” to avoid “provocative”or “unprofessional”  clothing and ideas around self-defense versus problem-solving. It is a chess game of avoidance and finger-pointing blame. But the government won’t protect our bodies, so we must protect ourselves.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I will do if I no longer have access to abortion healthcare. The implications are terribly dangerous for girls my age. I’ve come to the conclusion that we must be proactive, even if our rights aren’t actively being threatened. 

Stock your shelves with abortion pills, Plan B medication, forms of contraceptives and prepare for the worst. 

The new Texas law bans abortion at the first stage of fetus activity even in cases of rape and incest. This is often around six weeks of gestation, when women may not even know that they’re pregnant. These six weeks start when women aren’t even pregnant yet.  It’s dated from their last menstrual period–when a woman is “pre—pregnant.” A missed period occurs for most women at four weeks, but irregular periods are so common that it is practically impossible to correlate in two weeks a missed menstruation with pregnancy. Many over-the-counter pregnancy tests won’t show a pregnancy this early. So clearly, this is really a ban on abortion altogether.

Senate Bill 8 also deputizes citizens as bounty hunters to report those who aid and abet a person seeking an abortion outside of the first six weeks of pregnancy, offering a $10,000 incentive. 

This law passed through the Texas state senate and was approved by the governor Sep. 1. Following an emergency request for an appeal under the constitutional amendment Roe vs Wade the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the rebel forces attempting to destroy (or workaround) our constitution. 

It is possible given this ruling, other states will follow suit.

So, what can we do?

For starters, we must all prepare, like we would for an earthquake. Stock your bathroom closets and order, in bulk, contraceptives, Plan B, and abortion medication, which is legal in California now through telemedicine. Pills provide safe, affordable options and can be ordered in advance of pregnancy through advance provision.

No, it won’t make you infertile. No, it won’t kill you. These pills are very safe and effective and have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for over twenty years. If you are concerned you can find more information on the Plan C FAQ page

Plan C is an information site, telling you how to get the pills in all 50 states. In the days leading up to the abortion ban, they traveled around Texas to spread their message: Missed period? There’s a pill for that. It is so important that girls, like me, in every state, know we still have a choice. 

The founder of Plan C, Francine Coeytaux,  discussed with me the path forward for women in states like Texas.

“As legislatures and the courts shut down access to abortion services in Texas and other states, Plan C is serving as a resource for people seeking to take matters into their own hands and privately and safely self-manage an abortion,” Coeytaux said. “Knowledge is power so please, spread the word and help others. Tell them to go to and learn about their options.”

It will be a long uphill legal battle to fight the imposed restrictions, I don’t know if we will win. I am not optimistic. But, what brings me hope are the networks of women organizing around the challenges and barriers. Spread the word, learn about your state senators, vote out anti-choice legislators, tell your friends, build safe spaces for conversations on sex education and stock up.

This is Plan C.