The Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is providing free emergency contraception (EC) at its 24 clinics on June 30, in protest of Colorado Governor Owens’s veto of a bill that would have allowed pharmacists in the state to dispense EC without a prescription. “Gov. Bill Owens has turned his back on the women of Colorado, but Planned Parenthood won’t,” said Kate Horle, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ vice president of public affairs, according to the Rocky Mountain News.
EC is most effective if take within 72 hours after unprotected sex, birth control failure, or sexual assault. “Experts estimate that wider access to EC could prevent 1.7 million unintended pregnancies and 800,000 abortions every year,” said Vicki Cowart, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. According to PharmacyAccess.org, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington are the only US states that currently allow pharmacists to provide EC without a prescription.