Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About...
Impact of Emergency Contraception
Why is emergency contraception important?
Using emergency contraceptive pills (also known as "morning after pills" or "day after pills") in the first few days after sex reduces the risk of getting pregnant by at least 75%, giving a woman a second chance to prevent pregnancy if her birth control failed, she had sex without using contraception, or she was forced to have sex.
Each year, about six million pregnancies occur in the United States. About half occur among women who did not plan on having a baby (so researchers call them “unintended pregnancies”). There are two reasons this happens. Half the time, it is because birth control failed, meaning that the contraceptive itself didn’t work or that a woman and her partner made a mistake when they were using it. The other half of the time, the couple wasn’t using any method of birth control.
Making emergency contraception available and informing women about it can help them prevent an unintended pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion.