Emergency Contraception: A Safe and Effective Option

By By [email protected]

By [email protected]

This is in response to John Mallon’s letter on April 28, “Morning-After Pill is Dangerous.” It is interesting to note that John Mallon is a contributing editor to “Inside the Vatican” magazine and is writing to a Utah college newspaper from Oklahoma City. His arguments against emergency contraception are ridiculous and lack medical validity. Emergency contraception (a.k.a. Plan B or the morning-after pill) is very effective in preventing a pregnancy, not ending a pregnancy. It will not affect an egg that has already been implanted in the wall of the uterus.

Taking emergency contraception is the same as taking two doses of two to five (depending on the brand) estrogen/progestin birth control pills. Birth control pills are also very effective in preventing pregnancy. It is extremely important to educate women about emergency contraception and make it available over the counter.

There have been recent cases, including in Salt Lake City, where pharmacists have refused to fill a doctor’s prescription for emergency contraception based on his or her religious beliefs. Emergency contraception is most effective when taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, which in many cases may be rape. According to Planned Parenthood, approximately 1.7 million unintended pregnancies and 800,000 abortions could be prevented each year by the widespread use of emergency contraception pills (Glasier & Baird, 1998). The benefits of this safe and effective drug are immense. Providing accurate information and continual access for emergency contraception will help to continue these benefits.

Justine SheedySophomoreBallet