Commissioners for Macomb County, Michigan will offer a resolution today that would ban the county’s Health Department from prescribing morning-after pills or referring patients to another source of the drug.
Macomb County Commissioner Leon Drolet commented, “I don’t see where in the Constitution or state government says we are requires to provide it. I can’t tell the people in my county that you oppose abortion, but you are required to pay for this.”
Federal guidelines allow health departments to offer PREVEN, an emergency contraceptive that was approved by the FDA in September 1998, but do not require agencies to prescribe it. Currently, many of Michigan’s county health department refer women to Planned Parenthood when they request emergency contraception, a practice that Macomb County Commissioner would like to eliminate.
According to an article published in the Detroit News, Planned Parenthood clinics received about 28,000 request for morning-after contraception last year, double the amount received in 1997. Emergency contraception works to prevent pregnancy by blocking or delaying ovulation, or by preventing an egg from attaching to the uterus when ovulation has already occurred. Emergency is not effective in women who are already pregnant and must be used within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure.