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This Emergency Contraceptive Ad/Short Film Is Hilarious—But Also Tragic in Its Implications

We love women bonding over contraception.

Two hands reach for a box labeled "Julie" sitting on a store shelf.

Emergency contraceptive brand Julie Cares recently debuted a new short film/advertisement for its morning-after pill. The film follows two women trying to argue that they need the last box of the morning-after pill more than the other, listing all the reasons why their boyfriends would not be good parenting partners and/or why they’re on a strict schedule. Thankfully, the store quickly restocks with the double boxes and the women then bond over it.

Positive Advertising

In some ways, the short film is a healthy, sex-positive view of female sexuality. Neither woman is filmed in a way that is sexualized or slut-shaming. While the advertisement doesn’t shy away from the anxieties that can come from being a sexually active adult, both women are treated as individuals with complicated lives that simply cannot fit a human infant.

The description of the short film highlights this attitude, saying “The conversation around emergency contraception needs to be changed. Julie is the emergency contraception company for the next generation, one of learning and acceptance, not stigma and shame. Because when it comes to complex and stressful choices around your health, you deserve products that are easy in every way: easy to find, easy to take, easy to relate to, and easy to understand.”

The Julie YouTube channel also has another short film showing “A Better Morning After,” as well as a few short sex education videos about the morning-after pill, STIs, and periods. The company also made headlines in January for donating 200,000 units of emergency contraception.

Obviously, all of this is done with the intent of selling you a product, but it is nice to see a contraceptive company actively doing good.

The Unspoken Tragedy

However, the film is also a tragic look at the state of reproductive care in America. While abortion isn’t mentioned explicitly, many women have made an effort to stock up on the morning-after pill or get long-term birth control for fear of the lack of options in a post-Dobbs America. While this hasn’t led to a shortage in and of itself, many still struggle with access to birth control, making situations like fighting over the last box of Plan B all the more realistic.

There’s also the darkly ‘comedic’ element of both women clearly acknowledging the shortcomings of their sexual partners, but also the implication that the women would either be single mothers or stuck raising a child with said partners if they don’t get the morning-after pill.

Obviously, the dynamics of single and co-parenthood are complicated and while there is more public discussion of the subject, some attitudes are actually backsliding; The Pew Research Center reported that a rising number of Republicans/conservatives see single parenting and cohabitation before marriage as “unethical.” I suppose that makes a bad kind of sense when you consider the right’s general slide into extremism. An extremism that is frequently at odds with the average American, as polls have shown a solid 60% of Americans are in favor of upholding Roe V. Wade while only 27% are opposed.

Still, that just makes it all the more important for liberal states and communities to stand their ground on birth control/abortion access.

Republicans are trying to keep us boxed into their conservative worldview. It’s up to us to break it down.

(featured image: screencap)

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Kimberly Terasaki is a Creative Writing graduate, fanfiction author, and intersectional feminist. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan. She appreciates all constructive criticism and genuine discussion.