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Archive for the ‘Emergency Contraception’ Category

According to a survey conducted by NARAL to document the availability of emergency contraception (also known as EC, the morning after pill or Plan B) in North Carolina, about 40 percent of North Carolina pharmacies do not carry the “morning after pill.” 11% of the roughly 600 pharmacies NARAL surveyed earlier this year said they would require a prescription for all women seeking EC. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they were unaware the drug was effective for up to 72 hours after sex. Quoted prices for EC ranged from $20 to $500.

The group attributed the pill’s unavailability to confusion and moral opposition among pharmacists, and said the numbers are a cause for concern because Plan B can help prevent unintended pregnancies for women who have been sexually assaulted.

“Our survey found that a lot of the pharmacists had a lot of misinformation,” said Amy Woodell, a statewide organizer for the group, adding that it plans to use the results to educate pharmacists and the public. “I think it was surprising.”

For more information about access to EC, check out our EC FAQ!

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Good news: The Pennsylvania state House Health and Human Services Committee gave a big win to advocates for crime victims and women’s rights last week, approving 20-7 a bill that would require hospitals to offer emergency contraception to women seeking treatment for sexual assault.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, was drafted in part in response to a 2006 rape case in Lebanon County. The victim sought treatment at Good Samaritan Hospital, but was refused emergency contraception by an emergency room doctor who said it would violate his religious beliefs about abortion.

Leach’s bill would require hospitals to provide rape victims with information about emergency contraception and, if requested, make available the two-pill treatment that’s most effective when taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex.

Similar bills have been considered and passed in other states, even though the Democratic leadership in the Congress has shied away from the issue.

via The Patriot News.

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One step forward: AM New York reports the findings of a recent survey conducted by the New York City Council of 155 pharmacies on the availability of EC, also known as Plan B. The survey showed that 94% of pharmacies were aware that the drug could be legally sold over the counter and had it available. The study also showed that the average cost was $41.84, slightly higher than when sold only by prescription prior to August 2006.

The study revealed that allowing pharmacies to sell emergency contraception over the counter rather than by prescription has dramatically boosted its availability and created an “undeniable success” in helping reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortions that may result.

However, much work still needs to be done in regards to ensuring that city-run and non-profit clinics have it available free or at reduced cost to low-income and undocumented women, including those younger than 18 and those without the necessary government issued ID.

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