ella – progress and a reminder that we cannot rest until reproductive freedom comes

I couldn’t help but include this YouTube video of “Ella’s song,” in this post about the recently approved emergency contraception pill that bears the name of an unsung heroine of the civil rights movement. The refrain of the song really sums up how I feel about this contraceptive breakthrough that women have been met with this past Friday: We who believe in freedom cannot rest; We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.

To give you the abbreviated run-down on how ella differs from the morning-after pill, ella, works just as well to prevent pregnancy all 5 days as opposed to the morning-after pill that decreases it’s effectiveness after each day. Also, ella will not be available over the counter, so you can dust off your EC-OTC signs and prepare for the next phase of this product’s release. Another thing that has been unreported in the mainstream press is cost. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the company that will be selling ella, also doesn’t mention in it’s press release how it will compare with the morning after pill. However, it’s worth noting that ella, called ellaOne in Europe, is sold in the UK at three times the price of the morning after pill and many wonder if it is even worth the cost.

So, yes, more contraceptive options for women signal progress. But with cost being a critical factor that is still unclear and with the prescription-only requirement, the release of this pill has created more work for activists who seek policies and products that increase access for women. At the end of the day: a policy or a product is only as useful as it is accessible. And we cannot rest until reproductive freedom is accessible to all women.

Transcript here:

We who believe in freedom cannot rest
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes

Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons
Is as important as the killing of white men, white mothers’ sons

That which touches me most is that I had a chance to work with people
Passing on to others that which was passed on to me

To me young people come first, they have the courage where we fail
And if I can but shed some light as they carry us through the gale

The older I get the better I know that the secret of my going on
Is when the reins are in the hands of the young, who dare to run against the storm

Not needing to clutch for power, not needing the light just to shine on me
I need to be one in the number as we stand against tyranny

Struggling myself don’t mean a whole lot, I’ve come to realize
That teaching others to stand up and fight is the only way my struggle survives

I’m a woman who speaks in a voice and I must be heard
At times I can be quite difficult, I’ll bow to no man’s word

We who believe in freedom cannot rest
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes

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