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Study: Drop Age Restrictions on Emergency Contraception

Statement from Planned Parenthood Federation of America Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, on New Boston University Study on Over the Counter Access to Emergency Contraception:

“As the country’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care, Planned Parenthood knows how important it is that women have timely access to reliable birth control.

“This new Boston University study underscores the importance of making emergency contraception available over-the-counter to all women of reproductive age.

”It’s unclear if the pharmacy workers who provided incorrect information to the study callers were simply unfamiliar with the law, but one of the unfortunate results of the age restriction is that it requires drugstores to keep emergency contraception behind pharmacy counters. As the research shows, that restriction creates access barriers for women of all ages and these barriers can in turn result in preventable unintended pregnancies.

“That’s why Planned Parenthood supports lifting the age restriction for emergency contraception. Multiple studies have shown that teens are as likely as adults to use emergency contraception correctly and that both groups report little if any difficulty using the method.

“Research also has shown that teens understand that emergency contraception is not intended for regular use and that rates of unprotected sex do not increase when teens have easier access to emergency contraception. Study after study has shown that emergency contraception is safe for women of all ages. It works by preventing pregnancy, but it must be taken within five days of unprotected sex. Emergency contraception will not work if a woman is already pregnant.”


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