Improve Young Women’s Access to Emergency Birth Control Pills in South Carolina
As an advocate, you can make a difference by speaking up for young women’s right to prevent unwanted and unplanned pregnancy. Let your community know you believe young women ages 16-24 should be able to get emergency birth control pills (also known as emergency contraception, morning after pills, or Plan B®) as way to prevent pregnancy following sexual assault, when a condom breaks or is used incorrectly, or after unprotected sex. No young women should have to choose between childbirth and abortion. Emergency birth control pills can help young women prevent unplanned and unintended pregnancy.
What can you do?
- Educate yourself. Learn how emergency birth control pills work. Find out why young women might have trouble getting emergency birth control pills when they need them.
- Educate others. Present information on emergency birth control pills to peer education groups, public health officials, college leaders, community clubs, professional associations, and community-based organizations.
- Ask your physician or health care professional to provide emergency birth control pills to his/her clients and to educate young women about emergency birth control pills. Physicians can make young women aware that emergency birth control pills are an option by telling them how emergency birth control pills work and when to use them. They can even provide an advance prescription for emergency birth control pills during routine visits, so young women under age 18 who need emergency birth control pills can get them as quickly as possible. Ask your physician or pharmacist to register with the emergency contraception Web site www.not-2-late.com or hotline 1-888-NOT-2-LATE. Click here for registration form.
- Ask your pharmacist to make emergency birth control pills available at his/her pharmacy. Some pharmacists do not stock emergency birth control pills or won’t give them to women who request them. Make sure your pharmacist gives out this legal, FDA approved medicine to all young women who have prescriptions for it. Plan B® is now available without a prescription for women age 18 or older make sure your pharmacist keeps Plan B® in stock.
- Find out if your local high schools includes information about emergency birth control pills in health education classes. Tell the school you want to have complete and accurate and age appropriate information about sex and contraception available.
- Ask your church, synagogue, temple or mosque to offer youth sex education and/or teen pregnancy prevention programs. Work to ensure that the program discusses the use of emergency birth control pills as a way to prevent pregnancy in the case of an emergency.
- Write a letter (or opinion article) and submit it to magazines and/or local newspapers. Speak at local events about how emergency birth control pills work, the importance of emergency birth control pills as a way to prevent unplanned pregnancy, and how using emergency birth control pills ties in to safer sex. Click here for media talking points.
- Learn what others have done. There are many other tools and resources available to help you make emergency birth control pills available in your community.
- Contact the South Carolina Emergency Contraception Initiative for more information and ideas.