The Plan B Commercial = Annoying

The Plan B Commercial = Annoying

plan b

The other day, we were sitting around watching some TV when we came across a Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family. This is not a channel we ever watch, but we are Harry Potter fans (please spare me any lecture). So, we decided to dive right in. It didn’t take long to realize that during every commercial break, they were running an ad for Plan B. You know, the birth control overdose pill. Obviously, it’s the perfect commercial to air on a channel that claims its primary audience is families.

Let me tell you what I think about the commercial.

It is irritatingly cheerful, completely lacking in tact. “Here, have an overdose of hormonal birth control so you can go back to your life of guitar playing in the backyard. We wouldn’t want anything to get in the way of your convenient, baby-free lifestyle. Lord knows how a baby can ruin careers and cause boyfriends to leave you. Never mind you just prevented a life from being brought into the world.”

(I am not getting into any medical information about the pill. I just want to discuss the type of lifestyle I think the commercial endorses. Feel free to look the medical facts up on your own.)

Everything about the commercial reminds me of the Valtrex ads for genital herpes. You remember those? “I have herpes, but I love having sex and riding horses. I think it is totally unfair for the consequences of my actions to stop me from having all the fun I want to have in life. Why should an STD or worry about spreading it slow anyone down?” (Yes, I know that not everyone that has herpes was being reckless or acting irresponsibly.)

I have no issues with the existence of Valtrex. People make mistakes. There are all kinds of situations where STD’s can be spread, so I am not trying to shame anyone here. But, I do want to point out the similarities between the commercials. They both suggest that society still sees pregnancy and STDs in the same light. Popular culture has forgotten that pregnancy is one of the good results of having sex. Oh yeah, I am also pretty sure procreation is the primary and biological purpose for having sex. Am I wrong here? I subscribe to the idea that if you are going to have sex, you should be very okay with having children. If you are not okay with that, then you should abstain. I promise you won’t die. In fact, you may discover that so many other things in life are more worth your time until you are ready for children. Food might taste better, trips could be more fun, maybe take up knitting, or who knows…the possibilities are endless.

Frankly, I am tired of a culture that looks at fertility and children as these huge cumbersome things that only get in the way having a fulfilling life. I am also tired of being told that sex without consequences or responsibility is a part of that fulfilling life. It’s like giving a 16 year old a new car and saying, “Don’t worry about maintenance on the car or driving drunk. If anything you don’t like happens, we have a quick fix for you. It will cost you money, but it will be like it never happened.” I hate to talk about pregnancy as a consequence. But, it seems to me that the commercial and birth control industry has labeled it that way. They have lumped pregnancy in with all the negative consequences that are associated with sex.

Here’s my other issue. Who’s the target? To whom are we trying to sell the idea of sex without consequences? The ABC Family line up includes Gilmore Girls, Switched At Birth, Pretty Little Liars, the Twilight Movies, and several other shows aimed at teens and young adults. I assume it’s mostly a female audience as well. I understand that Plan B is a product and it is put out by a company looking to make money. I just think they are really sleazy about how they do it. That, and I personally have a huge moral problem with their product.

When I look at the actors in the commercial and the actors on the TV show, there are obvious similarities. I guess that would be “Advertising 101,” but what are they advertising? A life without consequences? Sex without responsibility? Happiness over real life? Children just get you stuck? I can’t stand it! When I see this kind of thing, I totally understand why people boycott cable.

Big tobacco used to advertise to kids and teens. They have since been forced to admit the negative effects of smoking. Look at all the ads that tell us how bad smoking is. When will the birth control pushers be held accountable? When will they be forced to talk about the negative effects of a promiscuous life-style? When will they start pushing abstinence as a a better solution to teen and unplanned pregnancy? I guess there is no money in abstinence. I guess they don’t want anyone with a wallet and sex organs to think that it’s perfectly acceptable to abstain. And here’s a bigger question. When will our government force these manufacturers of hormonal birth control to admit the negative effects that happen from their use? After all, hormonal birth control is listed as a Class 1 carcinogen (cancer causing drug). Guess what else is a Class 1 carcinogen? Tobacco. And if regular birth control pills cause cancer, then you better believe that the Plan B pill does as well. It is birth control on steroids. Plan B is like taking 4 birth control pills at one time. 

I have pretty much just spent this entire post griping, asking redundant questions, and giving no solutions. Truth be told, I am not sure what the solution is. I know that what we teach our kids starts in the home. I know what they are watching and I know what their little brains are taking in. If there is any positive that comes from those commercials being on air, it’s that it gives us an opportunity to talk to our kids about life choices. We don’t want to bury our heads in the sand and ignore the things we don’t agree with. I want my kids to learn about fertility and responsible choices from their parents…not their friends on the bus, not magazines, not from big pharma and certainly not anyone that hopes to make money off my kids, just hoping they will make a mistake.


“Popular culture is a place where pity is called compassion, flattery is called love, propaganda is called knowledge, tension is called peace, gossip is called news, and auto-tune is called singing.”
― Criss Jami 



  1. I have been convinced for a while now that contracepted sex is very immature (esp. in the context of premarital teen sex). The way I remember sex occasionally being presented in the media and high school is that if happens when you really love and care for someone and are emotionally ready but contraception signifies your are clearly not ready for the intended outcome of sex (even the purely philosophical natural materialist purpose, i.e. passing on genes).

    You have made me glad we canceled our cable.

    • What the hell? I took the morning after pill as it is called over here after me and my husband had sex and the condom spilt. I’m sorry but with a 3 month old baby who didn’t sleep and postnatal depression we weren’t ready to bring another child into the world and it would’ve been unfair to do so. Think before you judge please.

      • I thought plenty, and I am not even a little bit sorry. If you are ok with the possibility that you may have aborted one of your children, then that’s on you. It’s not my fault if you feel judged. And don’t underestimate yourself. If you had gotten pregnant, I bet life would have been just fine. I don’t want to hear any of that crap about it being unfair to bring children into the world.

      • Englishgirl, I have thought about it. I also want to be clear that I think the act is immature, not necessarily the person who does it.

  2. How did I miss this one? Good job my friend. Those subtle messages weave their ways into the brains of our kids if we allow it. Grace will know it when she sees it and call a spade a spade. She has no trouble discerning right from wrong and pointing it out! Love that girl. Wonder where she gets it? lol

  3. yes you are completely wrong about your idea that people should only have sex if they want children. you sound like a fucking lunatic and have no business telling others what they should believe.

    • Didn’t say that.I said that if you are having sex, pregnancy should be an expectation. You know, because that’s how babies are made. Also didn’t say what i think others should believe. Just my opinion tough guy or gal.

    • Wow. Why so angry with Doug? We can disagree with people without being so aggressive!

  4. Interestingly enough, in a close up of the ad for Plan B, the man has a wedding ring on. In some ways disturbing as well, since using this drug in the confines of marriage seems especially sad( unless he is not with his wife and then well, that’s a whole other post).

  5. Poor women, women without a college education are served by Planned Parenthood and have free access to birth control. And yet their rate of pregnancy as a single woman is 50%.
    As a society we depend on pills for quick fixes but pills aren’t very good in the long run for health or family life. Unfortunately most women do not realize the long term health risks of hormonal birth control.

    • True, but college women are customers of PP also. They wouldn’t want to ruin their college experience or ruin their education/job opportunities. Lord knows college kids can’t succeed without sex drugs and rock n’ roll in college.

  6. All they are doing is condoning moral turpitude. The morals in this country have gone so far downhill they practically do not exist. In fact it is to the point that those who know better have decided if you want to do anything its ok just protect yourself no need to think about anything or anyone else. These ads speak to those people and sell products sold by those with no moral compass or conscience just a love of money.

  7. I have not had a tv in years. someone said they would still get the ads, but I had not known that pill was advertised on tv at all until now.
    I don’t read stupid grocery aisle magazines either, I choose my own path and my own entertainment.
    Ads online are targeted. If you don’t frequent sites that make you a target, then you don’t see them.

    It matters what you are willing to support.

  8. You have an excellent way of exposing the truth.
    You have the gift of writing.
    Thanks for using all your gifts For Life!

  9. My friend has this delusion, she told me she has been on the Pill since having, her son and hasn’t had any problems. I wasn’t going to fight with her, but I am surprised how much she really doesn’t know.

  10. God love you for telling it like it is! Thank you.

  11. “A wallet and sex organs…” Bingo.
    Give up cable if you want (I’m too self-indulgent for that myself), but the ads will pop up elsewhere. This kind of thing, going back to the days when condoms started showing up at department store check-out stands, has provided way too many teachable moments for my family. “Mom, why is steam coming out of your ears?” “Because they’re ruining sex again!!!” (That’s not an actual transcript. Close, though.)

    • Agreed. We won’t bury our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist. Might as well confront it and teach your kids about it. I would prefer bra commercials go away though.

  12. I noticed the same thing- I’m a Harry Potter fan as well, and I’ve heard all the lectures against it- and couldn’t believe that this commercial was on this channel. I was arguing out loud with the commercial every time it played. Good for you for bringing the issue up.

  13. That quote at the end does an excellent job of summing up the lifestyle that these commercials portray.

    • thanks. The guy has a blog and seems to be Christian. He seems a little hippie-ish for me, but I liked the quote anyway.

  14. This article is full of stupid. There are women in this world that don’t want to have children. Sometimes you can do everything you are supposed to for protection and you still get pregnant. This also doesn’t take into account rape. Your choice was stolen from you to conceive a child. This was done by force and without your consent. So telling someone they have to have a child is crap, and only their decision alone! Also the statement that sex is only for procreation is ridiculous, and if we are not okay with it we should obtain????? Are you kidding me!! Grow up.

    • He said procreation is the PRIMARY reason for SEX, not the ONLY reason for sex.

      I’m so sick of everybody suggesting every rape victim wouldn’t be willing to put aside her pain for 9 months, give birth to the other innocent victim of the situation, and give that baby to a loving parent. There are other options and we need to stop solving every ‘problem’ with a pill.

    • Thanks for the advice about growing up. You are so sweet. Funny thing though, I used to think a lot like you until I grew up. I also don’t understand “protecting” yourself from pregnancy like it is some awful thing that you must avoid at all costs.

      • Your welcome! I would just like to state that “protecting” yourself from pregnancy is not your choice, thankfully, or to even understand the reasons behind them. Your judging others on a decision that is their own to make. If they don’t want children at a certain point in their life, they use protection. To say that you don’t understand why people avoid it at all costs is ridiculous. Women have the right to choose when they want children, or if they never want children, good for them. Their choice.

    • “like rape.” See, that seems not-at-all perfect to me. And you as well, I imagine. I have seen more discomfort on the faces of actors in dandruff shampoo commercials. O.o Plan B gives you an appointment with a bathroom floor for several hours, or the fetal position. Or both. Not perfect. Not at all perfect. Not even perfectly imperfect.

  15. The manufactures get around this by listing all the awful side effects in the patient information leaflet. However, most people don’t read the insert, and, even when they do, they think such side-effects are very rare. Young people are even *more* prone to thinking the bad stuff will never happen to them.

  16. Yes in a perfect world young people would wait until marriage for sex and pregnancy would always be good news. But we don’t live in a perfect world. No matter how hard you push abstanence, people will still have sex before marriage. A baby isn’t bad, but having one as a teen with no way of supporting it is extremely difficult. Kids are going to have sex no matter what adults say so why not have protection? I am whole-heartedly against abortion because that is taking a life because you don’t feel ready, but birth control is different. It stops the baby from being created in the first place. It’s not taking a life because there is no life to take. That’s bad? By that logic we’re all terrible for not constantly getting pregnant. I’m not having sex at all therefore preventing child birth. Teens won’t stop having sex and more unwanted children in foster care isn’t the answer. Not having sex before marriage solves that problem, but that will never happen. That’s just the world we live in. People who aren’t informed about birth control are the ones who end up with a baby that they are ilequipped to care for.

    • Why do we need protection from babies? Just because everyone around you is doing something wrong, doesn’t mean you should give in and teach them how to get away with it better. You just said you prefer and believe in abstinence. Don’t give up on what you know is right just because it’s too hard or others don’t do it.
      I also think you need to read up more on birth control. People on birth control get pregnant all the time. It does not prevent the baby from being made. It prevents the baby from implanting, therefore killing it. MY wife wrote this, I think you need to give it a read.

      • “Why do we need protection from babies?” Well the world population is already sky-rocketing like crazy, plus a lot of young people who have children cannot support them and a lot of children end up in foster care. Why is more childbirth the answer? And Christians believe in waiting until marriage for sex but that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to agree with that. If you get pregnant, yes you should go through the pregnancy and let that baby live, but that doesn’t mean you have to try for kids every time you have sex. I spoke to a doctor and plan b prevents the sperm from fertilizing the egg. If it’s already fertilized, the pill does nothing. It’s not killing a child. The child hasn’t been created.

  17. Right on! Hit the nail on the head!

  18. I like “Switched at Birth” and was horrified also to hear a Plan B commercial during it’s broadcast. It’s made me rethink watching the show. The commercial made it seem so effortless and never mentions that a life may end by taking it. Young girls would never know this side of Heaven what kind of impact their choice really made.

    • There was an episode of Switched at Birth where Bay takes the morning after pill… it makes sense that they would advertise in that time slot.

  19. Yes, yes, and yes 1000000 times everything you said.

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