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Emergency Contraception Fact Sheet

Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception has been available for more than 25 years and could prevent 1.7 million unintended pregnancies and 800,000 abortions each year. It is a safe and effective method of contraception, and women who have used it report high levels of satisfaction.

bulletEffective to prevent pregnancy if taken within 120 hours of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure.
bulletDoes not interrupt an already-established pregnancy.
bulletExplicitly approved by the FDA as a safe and effective contraceptive.
bulletThe contraceptive drugs used in emergency contraception are also approved by the FDA as ordinary contraception.
bulletUsing emergency contraception reduces a woman's risk of pregnancy by at least 75 percent.
bulletThe earlier emergency contraception is used after unprotected intercourse, the more effective it is--95% effective if used within 24 hours.

Emergency Contraception for Rape Survivors

Considering the trauma of rape and the fact that many rape survivors delay seeking treatment, all emergency rooms must provide emergency contraception. Unfortunately, statistics reveal a stark reality: all emergency rooms do not in fact provide this basic care.

bulletAccording to the American Medical Association, in the United States,
bulletSexual assault continues to represent the most rapidly growing violent crime in America.
bulletOver 700,000 women are sexually assaulted each year.
bulletIt is estimated that fewer than 50% of rapes are reported.
bullet1-5% of sexual assaults result in pregnancy. Recognizing the severe psychological consequences of rape, medical experts unanimously agree that treatment for the prevention of pregnancy should be discussed and offered.