By Eileen Nechas and Laura Beth Potylycki

Emergency Contraception Not Always Available


Doctors want women to know that a safe, effective, and cost-efficient method of emergency contraception is available to help prevent an unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sex. But many pharmacists either don't carry the drug, or refuse to provide it because they believe - incorrectly - that the drug (called Preven) is a form of abortion, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). And those pharmacies that don't keep the drug in stock but are willing to order it upon request usually can't get it within the critical time frame necessary for proper use.

ACOG says that women need better access to emergency oral contraception (EC) through their local pharmacies. EC is a specific regimen of ordinary birth control pills that when taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex decreases your chance of becoming pregnant by 75 percent. EC is not a form of abortion, but actually helps prevent abortions by stopping ovulation, fertilization or the implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterus. The drug has no effect once pregnancy has occurred.