Emergency contraception (a.k.a. EC, ECP, "Morning After" Pill)
Developments during the year 2001
Developments during 2001:
||2001-MAY-15: USA: ACOG may recommend that women keep emergency
contraceptive prescription available: According to Focus on the
Family, Dr. Thomas Purdon, head of the 40,000 member American
College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), suggests that
the group's members routinely issue prescriptions of emergency
contraceptives to women patients of child-bearing age. Obstetrician-gynecologist
Dr. David Hager opposes the suggestion: "I think it will add
to individuals being sexually active without using a mechanism of
contraception, which potentially not only increases the risk of
pregnancy, but also sexually transmitted infections." 1 It is doubtful that many women would use these pills as a
contraceptive. Emergency contraception medication have two
overwhelming deficiencies if used as routine contraception: At this
time, The woman
would have to get a new prescription from their physician after each
sexual act. Also, the pills produce nausea in most women -- sometimes
lasting over a day.
||2001-JUN-4: USA & Canada: "Over the counter"
studies: Pilot studies are underway in
the state of Washington, province of British Columbia, and city of
Toronto, ON. Pharmacists offer emergency contraceptive pills over the
counter without a prescription, but after careful screening by the
pharmacist. Pharmacists will also counsel women on getting "adequate
and appropriate" birth control. Pills are now available at 40 pharmacies in the Toronto
||2001-SEP-21: CA: Morning after pills to be more accessible:
Currently, emergency contraception medication requires a woman to
get a prescription from a physician. Bill SB 1169 was introduced by Sen.
Dede Alpert, (D-San Diego) and has passed through the
California legislature. If signed into law, it would allow
pharmacists to sell the medication over-the-counter. Since the pills must
be taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse, speed is very
important. Experience has shown that they are safe. Focus on the Family, a
Fundamentalist Christian group, complains that this law would "put
women and girls at higher risk for disease and sexual health problems."
||2001-OCT-12: USA: Anti-emergency contraception amendment pulled:
Representative Melissa Hart (R-PA) proposed an amendment to the
massive $123 billion spending bill for federal education, health and labor
programs. It would have terminated all federal aid to any school which
dispensed emergency contraception to students. House Republican leaders
asked her to withdraw the amendment in order to assure quick passage of
the bill. They promised her a stand-alone vote on the proposal next year.
This medication is believed to be currently available in 180 schools across the U.S.
||2001-OCT-12: Korea: Government institute supports emergency
contraception: The Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs
(KIHASA), a government think-tank on health issues, announced that it
supports the importation of emergency contraceptive medication. KIHASA
researcher Cho Jae-kuk said: "The opinions of religious and other
groups who oppose the sales of emergency contraceptives on ethical and
health grounds should be respected. However, in consideration of the high
rate of abortion in the nation and examples of other countries, we believe
that Korea's introduction of emergency contraceptives is appropriate."
||2001-OCT-15: CA: Governor signs bill into law: Bill SB 1169
passed by the California legislature and mentioned above in the
2001-SEP-21 listing, has been signed into law by Governor Gray Davis.
According to a San Francisco newspaper:
"Women's health advocates are
heralding the decision as an important one with sweeping implications for
both the national and social landscape as other states are expected to
follow California's example. Health experts believe that having better
access to emergency contraception could halve the number of unintended
pregnancies in the United States -- about 6.3 million a year, according to
the Alan Guttmacher Institute -- and substantially reduce the U.S.
[current] abortion rate of one in every four pregnancies. 'I think it's a
wonderful women's health initiative. Accidents happen,'' said Diane Lamotte, senior pharmacist at the Cowell Student Health Center at the
University of California-Santa Cruz. The health center is one of several
sites around the state that have participated in a pilot program allowing
pharmacists to counsel women and give them the pills with a doctor's
The law took effect in 2002-JAN. Plan B and Preven became readily available to all women
in California, 24 hours a day, as some pharmacies stay
open around the clock. 5
2001-DEC-31, midnight: CA: Emergency contraception available: The law
which allows pharmacists to dispense EC came into effect. It was
sponsored by the Public Health Institute of California and endorsed
by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the
California Pharmacists Association, the California Medical
Association and other public health organizations.
"Earlier this year, more than 60 medical, public health and women's
groups signed a petition urging the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
to switch emergency contraception pills to nonprescription status."
Stuart Shepard, "ACOG touts 'emergency contraception',"
Focus on the Family, at: http://www.family.org/cforum/fnif/news/A0015958.html
"California Lawmakers Assault Families," Focus on the Family,
"Vitter gives up plans to offer controversial anti-abortion bill;
Measure falls short in House panel vote," The Times Picayune,
Kim Min-hee, "Gov't think-tank backs import of 'morning-after' pill,"
The Korea Herald, at:
Julie Severens Lyons, "Law makes morning-after pill available without
prescription: PHARMACIES WILL BE ABLE TO DISPENSE EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTIVES,"
The Mercury News, 2001-OCT-16, at:
http://www0.mercurycenter.com/premium/ (This was a temporary listing, and
is no longer online)
"California to sell morning-after pill Jan 1," Japan Today, at:
Copyright © 2001 to 2007 by Ontario Consultants on
Latest update: 2007-JUN-23
Author: B.A. Robinson