Emergency Contraception Marks a New Battle Line in Texas

by | Apr 28, 2022 | Health

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — “Mysterious Dolphin” needed an emergency contraception pill dropped off on a porch outside of town.

Allison Medulan, a sophomore at Texas A&M University who had just come from biology class, saw the request on her cellphone via an anonymous text hotline. She gathered a box of the one-dose contraceptive, a pregnancy test, and a few condoms from her apartment and headed over. Inside a bewildering development of modest townhomes, Medulan tucked the plastic delivery bag next to the doormat.

Closing the car door, she stared ahead and took a breath. Medulan, 20, didn’t know the woman’s real name. It had been converted into a moniker by another volunteer operating the hotline.

“I’ve done what I can,” she said.

In this college town in farm country about two hours north of Houston, Medulan and other volunteers for Jane’s Due Process, an Austin-based nonprofit, are trusted allies for panicked young women scrambling for a solution after contraceptive failure or unprotected sex.

Sexual health advocates have long sought to expand access to emergency contraception — over-the-counter medications that prevent fertilization if taken within days of sexual intercourse — with the aim of preventing unplanned pregnancies that can derail educational and professional goals for women and teenagers. A bill that recently passed the Illinois General Assembly would requir …

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