Op-ed: A little less Alesse, please

Dear AMS,

I'm like you. I work and hang out in the Nest probably more than I would like to admit. I like to think we are two sides of the same coin. Sisters in a way. Sure, we don't always get along, but generally I think we appreciate each other.

But that was before.

You've done something that has truly hurt me.

It's almost hard to talk about it. It's such a huge thing.

You've… you've ruined the short breaks I get from the student paper to use the washroom.

Every time I walk into the washroom on the second floor, I'm faced with a horrifying sight. There's an Alesse birth control advertisement and it shouts a horrible message: if you don't get the brand name version of the Pill, you've gotten the wrong Pill.

Which is ridiculous and has changed my few breaks from the office into a time where I get angry.

I'm not sure what your advertising policy is for the Nest. I know we need ads for revenue. But I don't understand how you can allow an advertisement, aimed at women, encouraging them to purchase the more expensive version of something they need, even though a cheaper and identical version is available as a generic.

Maybe this wouldn't matter if women didn't have to pay out of pocket for birth control, but — according to your own AMS Health and Dental Plan — it only covers 80 per cent of prescription drugs. This means that women still need to dish out serious cash if they want to be protected against pregnancy, control heavy flow, intense PMS, menstrual migraines, crippling cramps or any number of the other reasons a women needs hormonal birth control.

Alesse, implying that a woman “should ask for it” if they don't see the brand name, is saying that generic drugs are not a valid choice when in fact they are. Women — or anyone who uses prescription drugs — should have the choice to use generic and they sure as hell shouldn't be belittled for that choice.

So, next time Alesse comes to you looking for an advertisement and claiming they are better than generic, please remember that a lot of women can barely afford birth control, period — let alone brand name birth control.

Natalie Morris is the design editor of The Ubyssey.