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Emergency contraception can significantly reduce a woman's chance of becoming pregnant when taken within days of unprotected sex, and it is more effective the sooner it is taken. The "morning-after" pill is extremely safe: it's approved by the FDA and if a woman is already pregnant when she takes it, the medication won't harm the pregnancy.
Emergency contraception may be used when contraceptive methods fail, when they are misused or not used at all, and when women are sexually assaulted. Although emergency contraceptive methods are not a substitute for ongoing contraceptive use and do not protect against the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, these important and underutilized contraceptive options can reduce unintended pregnancy.
For emergency contraception's full potential in preventing unintended pregnancies to be realized, we must:
- Protect women from pharmacists who oppose birth control
- Inform rape survivors about EC
- Educate women and doctors about EC
- Make real efforts to prevent teen pregnancy
For more information on Emergency Contraception