Morning-after pill on the rise
The morning-after pill is a controversial topic in many circles, as it immediately terminates a potential pregnancy within 48 hours of the act. According to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four women aged 20 to 24 have taken the pill, largely driving national figures, which are up seven percent since 2002. A decade ago, only four percent of women had taken the morning after pill; today, 11 percent have taken it.
So what changed? Emergency contraception became available in 1999, but required a prescription from a doctor, often following an exam. In 2006, over-the-counter access was approved, giving many women access to the pill, driving figures dramatically higher. Today, 20 percent of women who have never been married have taken the pill.
The report found that younger, white and better-educated women were most likely to use the pill. Most of these women took the pill after another birth control method was thought to have failed.
The CDC conducted a survey of 12,000 in order to compile the statistics. This was the first major study of emergency contraception use since the regulations were eased to allow over-the-counter access.