What do the experts say about EC?

Leading health-related professional associations and organizations around the world support emergency contraception. Their endorsements of EC reflect confidence not only in EC’s safety and efficacy, but also in the belief that greater access to EC is vital.

International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, FIGO

“1. Early access to hormonal emergency contraception improves the success rate and therefore decreases health risks. Therefore, at a public policy level, the medical profession should advocate that emergency contraception be easily available and accessible at all times to all women.
“2. Emergency contraception is not medically appropriate as an ongoing contraceptive method. Physicians have the obligation to assure accurate information is available regarding emergency contraception, as well as discuss future strategies for individuals to avoid the need for emergency contraception.
“3. Access to emergency contraception should be an essential component of immediate care for women who suffer rape and are exposed to pregnancy. Adolescents because of their special vulnerability in society form another group for whom emergency contraception should be made easily available.”
Recommendations On Ethical Issues In Obstetrics And Gynecology By The FIGO Committee For The Ethical Aspects Of Human Reproduction And Women’s Health, November 2003

World Health Organization, WHO

“Any woman of reproductive age may need emergency contraception at some point to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.”
Fact Sheet Nº 244, Revised October 2005

“Recommend integration of contraceptive commodities, supplies and equipment, covering a range of methods, including emergency contraception, within the essential medicine supply chain to increase availability.

Recommend special efforts be made to provide comprehensive contraceptive information and services to displaced populations, those in crisis settings, and survivors of sexual violence, who particularly need access to emergency contraception.”
Ensuring human rights in the provision of contraceptive information and services: Guidance and Recommendations, 2014

“Women have the right to information and services on emergency contraception just as with all other safe and effective methods of family planning.”
UNFPA Frequently Asked Questions

“The ability of pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception increases the number of women that receive this medication within 24 hours. Pharmacies offer advantages of location, convenience and hours of operation… Emergency contraception has higher efficacy when taken earlier, thus increased access from pharmacies may improve the effectiveness of this medication because women are taking it sooner.

Pharmacists provide information to patients at the time of emergency contraception dispensing, which allows women to understand proper use of this medicine… Availability of emergency contraception from pharmacies increases timely access of this medication for women.”
Reference paper on the effective utilization of pharmacists in improving maternal, child and newborn health, 2011.

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health

“Criminal laws and other legal restrictions that reduce or deny access to family planning goods and services, including emergency contraception, violate the right to health and reflect discriminatory notions of women’s roles in the family and society.”                                                        Statement by Anand Grover, Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health, October 24, 2011

American Academy of Pediatrics, AAP

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement in 2012 strongly supporting access to emergency contraception for adolescents, officially endorsing advance provision of EC and reinforcing the safety of EC among adolescents.
“The aim of this updated policy statement is to (1) educate pediatricians and other physicians on available emergency contraceptive methods; (2) provide current data on safety, efficacy, and use of emergency contraception in teenagers; and (3) encourage routine counseling and advance emergency-contraception prescription as 1 part of a public health strategy to reduce teen pregnancy.”
Policy Statement, November 26, 2012

In a 2005 statement, AAP also stated:

“An increase in awareness and availability of emergency contraception to teens does not change reported rates of sexual activity or increase the frequency of unprotected intercourse among adolescents.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to support improved availability of EC to teens and young adults, including over-the-counter access and limiting the barriers to access placed by some health care providers and venues.”
Policy Statement, September 1, 2005

American College of Emergency Physicians, ACEP

“ACEP supports the availability of non-prescription emergency contraception.”
Policy #400343, Approved October 2004

American College of Nurse-Midwives, ACNM

“ACNM supports removing barriers to the immediate availability of emergency contraception through: increased education for consumers and professionals, advance prescription of emergency contraceptive pills, direct pharmacy access, FDA approval of over-the-counter distribution, and insurance coverage for all prescriptive methods of contraception. ACNM also opposes any laws or regulations that would prohibit CNMs and CMs from prescribing ECP.”
Position Statement, Approved by ACNM Board of Directors, September 2001

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology, ACOG

ACOG fully supports availability of EC. In the 2010 clinical management guidelines for Obstetrician-Gynecologists on emergency contraception, ACOG makes the following clinical considerations and recommendations for EC: “Emergency contraception should be offered or made available to women who have had unprotected or inadequately protected sexual intercourse and who do not desire pregnancy…Treatment should be initiated as soon as possible after unprotected or inadequately protected intercourse to maximize efficacy… Reproductive age women who are victims of sexual assault should always be offered emergency contraception.”

Practice Bulletin Number 112, Clinical Management Guidelines for Obstetrician-Gynecologists. Emergency Contraception. May 2010.

Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, SAHM

“The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) asserts its support for increasing awareness of and improving timely access to ECPs.”
Provision of Emergency Contraception to Adolescents, Position Paper of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 2004.

American Public Health Association, APHA

The American Public Health Association believes emergency contraception should be available over-the-counter.

International Planned Parenthood Federation, IPPF

“IPPF EN wants emergency contraception to be available, affordable and easily accessible to all individuals living in Europe for reasons of: health, as it provides an efficient and low-risk method that involves a simple procedure and a minimum of side effects, choice, as it offers the possibility to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, rights, as it gives access to an effective, affordable and safe post-coital contraceptive.”
Adopted at RC 2004