Bitter Pills

Lauren Young

In the beginning—back before I was a working parent—I was a single chick. And being single had its privileges: Watching “Letterman,” sleeping late, and seeing every new movie in the movie theater! I had lots of boyfriends, but I was also responsible and took the necessary precautions to avoid being a working parent before the time was ripe.

My former employer, Dow Jones, however, didn’t make that especially easy. The company’s insurance plan did not cover my birth control pills. I always felt a little peeved when I went to my local Duane Reade to pick up my prescription every month--at $35 a pop. But when I found out the health plan covered Viagra, well, let’s just say enough was enough.

Through an alliance with my union, The Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees, and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, I decided to become a plaintiff with two other employees in a sexual discrimination charge against Dow Jones. The case dragged on for about a year, but, ultimately, it was settled in favor of Dow Jones employees. You can read more about my case in “Grassroots: A Field Guide for Feminist Activism.”

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