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Use of Emergency Contraception Grows in MN and SD

Women in Minnesota and South Dakota are beginning to use emergency contraception (EC) in increasing numbers. According to the Minnesota and South Dakota Planned Parenthoods, prescriptions for EC have increased more than five times between 1998, when the FDA approved EC, and 2001. Kaiser Family Foundation, however, notes that nationwide, only 2 percent of American women have used EC, according to a Foundation survey.

The Feminist Majority Foundation has launched a nationwide campaign to increase access to EC on college campuses nationwide. Many college health centers in U.S. do not offer EC, which could help to prevent up to 1.5 million unintended pregnancies each year, according to Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Reports. Despite the fact that EC pills are extremely safe and the American Medical Association has advocated to make them available over the counter, Washington is currently the only state that allows women to obtain EC over the counter, and some pharmacies have outright refused to fill prescriptions for EC pills (Wal-Mart, among others). Due to the small window of time in which EC pills are effective – within 72-hours of intercourse – and its potential to reduce unintended pregnancies, it is imperative that women demand greater access to EC.

To find our more about the Feminist Majority Foundation campaign, visit www.PrescribeChoice.org.

Sources:

Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Reports, 2/12/02; Feminist Majority Foundation

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