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June 18, 2010

NARAL Pro-Choice America Praises EC Education Act

Pro-choice organization calls Murray-Slaughter bill a great way to help women prevent unintended pregnancies

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, praised Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) for re-introducing legislation aimed at raising the public's understanding and awareness of emergency contraception (EC).

The bill, the EC Education Act, would fund public-education campaigns about this medication, letting people know that it is available, safe, and effective at preventing pregnancy. The bill would allow states to fund outreach programs to doctors, pharmacists, and women to increase their awareness about EC.

This legislation comes as some studies show that many women do not use EC because they underestimate their chances of becoming pregnant. Improving public education and awareness could help reduce the estimated three million unintended pregnancies that occur in the U.S. every year.

"Add this bill to the list of examples of Sen. Murray and Rep. Slaughter's leadership on women's health issues," Keenan said. "We support this legislation because improving women's awareness of EC and how it works could help prevent unintended pregnancy and thus reduce the need for abortion."

Keenan also said she expected some anti- birth-control groups to attack the legislation and try to confuse the public about EC by comparing it to abortion.

"It is unfortunate that some groups will do anything to undermine women's access to birth control, including EC," Keenan said. "The facts are clear. EC is a safe, effective way to prevent pregnancy if taken soon after sex. Emergency contraception does not cause abortion. If taken correctly, this medication has great potential to help a woman reduce her chances of becoming pregnant."

In the U.S., emergency contraception is now available over the counter for adults – and by prescription for those under age 17.

For more information on this topic, you may find our fact sheet at

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