I would like to thank Dr. Emily Kane for her July 13 letter in support of a women's right to access reproductive options without government intervention. I also appreciate her bringing attention to emergency contraception, a birth control option that has great potential to reduce the demand for abortion. Emergency contraception, often called "the morning-after pill," is NOT RU-486 or the abortion pill. Emergency contraception is a high-dose birth control pill that prevents pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. It does not cause an abortion if a woman has already become pregnant.
While taking multiple birth control pills within three days of unprotected sex can work as emergency contraception, it is safer and more reliable to get a prescription for "Plan B," an FDA-approved method of emergency contraception that is less likely to cause nausea than a high dose of regular birth control pills.
Please ask your doctor for an advance prescription for Plan B. The prescription is good for a year, so you can get it filled when you need to. Or, better yet, get it filled immediately and have some Plan B in your medicine cabinet in case a condom breaks or a sexual assault occurs.
If you cannot get a prescription from a local doctor, there are several resources on the Web.
Plan ahead and back up your birth control!