Emergency contraception is easier to access than ever before in the UK – high street pharmacies including Superdrug and Boots cut the price last year and it's still available free via the NHS and at sexual health clinics. However the stigma surrounding it remains and it's women who are bearing the brunt – we're being judged, patronised and made to feel ashamed for something that's a) very often an accident, and b) resulted from the actions of two people. Not us alone.
Recent research on nearly 1,000 18-35-year-old women by the morning after pill brand ellaOne found that 57% feel awkward and embarrassed when making the purchase, while just 10% feel confident. In another survey, three-quarters of women admitted to not seeking emergency contraception after having unprotected sex, due partly to embarrassment and factors like misinformation (only 17% of women learn about it in school). ellaOne's new campaign, #MyMorningAfter, seeks to tackle the taboo and the sexist tropes surrounding the morning after pill and encourage women to share their experiences of emergency contraception. Here, six women share their stories of morning after pill shaming with Refinery29.