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by Michele Shackelford, staff writer
The morning-after pill is a form of emergency contraceptive. It is a high dosage of the birth control pill. It must be taken within 72-hours of unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. There are three different ways birth control pills are being promoted in this use: they are either given as progesterone alone, estrogen alone, or both of these hormones together.

The morning-after pill has three different ways in which it can work. First is that ovulation is inhibited, meaning that the egg will not be released. The second is the normal menstrual cycle is altered, delaying ovulation. The third is it can irritate the lining of the uterus if the first and second actions fail, and the woman does not become pregnant.

Side effects associated with the morning-after pill include: nausea, vomiting, infertility, breast tenderness, ectopic pregnancy, and blood clot formation.

The morning after pill has an 89 percent effectiveness rate when used correctly after a single act of unprotected sex. The pill is most effective the sooner it is taken. The decline in efficacy from a delay in treatment is why a broad range of health professionals say that the barriers to a more-timely access to Plan B should be removed, including making the product more broadly available without prescription. (www.go2planb.com)

Plan B is NOT the same as RU486, the abortion pill. Plan B is not an abortion pill, but rather an emergency contraceptive. It is not effective if a woman is pregnant, and should not be confused with any other method of abortion.

The morning-after pill is a safe and effective method of birth control that should be available to all women. It helps lower the pregnancy rate, and gives women an alternative choice. It is approved by the FDA, and should be sold over the counter. Women have the right to Plan B and need to fight to keep that right. The political controversy about Plan B is not it being abortion or birth control, but rather women’s rights over their health care options.


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