Press Release

Emergency Contraception: Americas Best Kept Secret

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March 16, 2001 Washington, DC The obstacles that have made, and still make, emergency contraception unavailable to many American women are detailed in an insightful article in the upcoming edition of Women's Health Issues. Written by Francine Coeytaux, MPH, and Barbara Pillsbury, PhD, the article focuses on the history and challenges surrounding emergency contraception. It examines pharmaceutical companies reluctance to distribute emergency contraception based on fear of liability and of potential boycotts led by anti-choice groups. The article details what it took to move the "morning after pill" from a well-kept secret to the pharmacy shelf, and the challenges that remain.

Coeytauz and Pillsbury describe the remaining challenges to making emergency contraception accessible to women. They include the need to: educate more health care providers about this form of contraception; decrease cost; create protocols for all hospitals on the use of emergency contraception; and educate women about the uses of and availability of emergency contraception.

The authors conclude, " we are only just beginning to make emergency contraception available, to put in the mainstream. Much work remains. It is our hope that by the year 2010, these little pills that can give a woman a second chance will no longer be a secret and that, throughout the world, emergency contraception will be on the shelf in every woman's home just in case."

Women's Health Issues is the official publication of The Jacobs Institute of Women's Health, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the knowledge, practice, and understanding of women's health.

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For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
Steve Fitzer
The Jacobs Institute
(202) 863-4989