NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio
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Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception (also known as the morning after pill) is a series of pills that can be taken up to 72 hours following unprotected sex or a sexual assault to prevent pregnancy. It is not an abortion, and will not terminate a pregnancy that is already established.

Did you know…?

  • Emergency Contraception (EC), also called the "Morning After Pill,” can prevent unintended pregnancy up to 72 hours after unprotected sex.
  • EC is up to 89% effective at preventing unintended pregnancy.
  • EC could prevent up to 1.7 million unintended pregnancies in the U.S. every year.
  • Only 1% of women in the United States have ever used EC.

EC is NOT the Abortion Pill

You may have heard of the Morning After Pill and may think it is the same as mifepristone (formerly known as RU-486 or the Abortion Pill). News reports have perpetuated this harmful misconception by confusing the Morning After Pill with the Abortion Pill.

EC does not cause an abortion. It prevents unintended pregnancy after unprotected sex. In 1996, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated that if a woman is already pregnant, the pills will not work and her pregnancy will continue.

EC works the same way that birth control pills do – by temporarily disrupting the normal hormone patterns that are necessary for pregnancy to begin. In 1997, the FDA declared the risks and warning for the use of EC to be similar to those for oral contraceptives prescribed for daily use.

There are many reasons why you may need to use EC. For example, the condom broke, you forgot your birth control pills or you were sexually assaulted. Whatever the reason, you do not have to panic after having unprotected sex – you can prevent unintended pregnancy within 72 hours.

Please ask your doctor about EC. Please tell your friends.

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