E.C. in the E.R.?

The ACLU Web site adds real voices to the emergency contraception debate.

Published November 23, 2005 12:47PM (EST)

There are many reasons not to call
emergency contraception by its glib girlfriend-had-second-thoughts nickname, "the morning-after pill." One of the most important is that in practice, the drug is often administered on the night of a rape.

Though perhaps not often enough. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, only seven states are required to provide emergency contraception to sexual assault victims in emergency rooms. And as we well know, not every pharmacist feels compelled to provide the drug either.

But now there's a Web site designed to, as they say, put a face on this problem. As part of its ongoing efforts to educate and advocate about "the need for safe, legal, and accessible reproductive health programs," the Clara Bell Duval Reproductive Freedom Project (run by the ACLU of Pennsylvania) has launched RaisingHerVoice.org. The site's goal is to provide "a safe space for survivors of sexual assault to share their experiences with emergency contraception" and thus to "raise awareness about the important role of EC during a time of crisis."

How important is that role? "At RaisingHerVoice.org, we believe that every pharmacy and hospital emergency room should make EC available to sexual assault survivors, regardless of the beliefs of the pharmacists, health care personnel, or the religious affiliation of the hospital. Every survivor who visits a hospital emergency room should receive compassionate treatment, including the decision to receive EC."

When it comes to these voices, we say, Hear, hear!

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of BreakupGirl.net. She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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