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Sexually Transmitted Infections. 2009 Feb; 85(1):65-69.Objectives: To design and assess HIV and homosexuality related stigma scales in a developing world context. Methods: A respondent-driven sampling survey was conducted among 351 men who have sex with men (MSM) in Shenzhen, China. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to examine and determine the latent factors of stigma subscales. Results: Factor analyses identified three subscales associated with homosexuality and HIV stigma: public homosexual stigma (10 items), self homosexual stigma (8 items) and public HIV stigma (7 items). There were no items with cross-loadings onto multiple factors, supporting the distinctness of the constructs that these scales were meant to measure. The fit indices in confirmatory factor analysis provide evidence for the hypothesised three-factor structure of associations (the x2/degree ratio=1.84, CFI=0.91, RMSEA=0.05 and SRMR=0.05). Reliability of the three scales was excellent (Cronbach's alpha: 0.78-0.85) and stable across split samples and for the data as a whole. Conclusions: The selection of three latent factors was supported by both psychometric properties and theories of stigmatisation. The scales are brief and suitable for use in developing countries where less time-consuming measurement is preferable.
Social Science and Medicine. 2008 Dec; 67(12):2126-34.We examine responses to the roll-out of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in Zambia in 2004, focusing on material features of the drugs (colour, shape, size, origin), 'spoiling' (concern about toxicity, side effects of the drugs) and rumours ('talk' about the drugs). Data consists of interviews with 10 people living with HIV and 21 healthcare practitioners. We found that the colour symbolism of 'traditional medicine' has some influence on ideas about ARVs, suggesting possible 'meaning responses' that could affect treatment outcomes. Respondents also become concerned when colours, shapes and side effects differ from expectations. 'Talk' about ARVs concerns risks of medication, sustainability of treatment programmes and people's feelings of vulnerability within larger socio-economic contexts in which countries like Zambia are disadvantaged. Understanding the associations that pharmaceuticals evoke can improve treatment programmes by elucidating public and patient concerns and sensitising healthcare professionals to the historical and political circumstances that condition the 'meaning' of ARVs.
Johannesburg, South Africa, Gender Links, 2008. 100 p.This report is part of Mirror on the Media series of monitoring reports coordinated by GL with the support of the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA) on gender and the media. Previous studies include: Gender and Advertising in Southern Africa; Who talks on radio talk shows and Who makes the news, an analysis of the 2005 Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) results in Southern Africa. The study focused on gender and tabloids in three Southern African countries with the highest density of tabloids, defined both in terms of size and content. It included monitoring of three newspapers in each country over the month of June 2007. The monitoring covered a total of 2546 news items: 859 in Mauritius; 1203 in South Africa and 484 in Tanzania (where tabloids are much fewer pages than in the other countries). Researchers also conducted desk top research; interviewed editors; gathered case material and administered an audience survey to 280 readers in the three countries. (excerpt)
Population Review. 2007; 46(2): p.How does population size affect social life? In accord with Durkheim's classic argument about the shift from the rigid "mechanical" solidarity of small societies to the more differentiated and interdependent "organic" solidarity of large societies, data from 30 nations and 19,568 respondents shows that the citizenry of large societies prefer more inequality in earnings than do citizens of small societies, net of the level of economic development. One reason for this is that citizens of large countries support larger rewards for education and occupational success. In most societies, the actual level of inequality is close to the ideal level, or a little higher. Data are from the World Inequality Study, which pools data from many excellent international survey projects; analysis is by OLS and multi-level regression. (author's)
Population Briefs. 2007 Dec; 13(3):5.In April 2007, Mexico City's legislative assembly voted to liberalize abortion law to permit the interruption of pregnancy in the first trimester. The city is a federal district-similar to Washington, DC-and has a state-like autonomy. The law is in place only in Mexico City; Mexico's states still have restrictive abortion laws. The Council's research and collaboration with local nongovernmental organizations, universities, professional associations, and the Mexican government helped bring about this groundbreaking legislation. "The Population Council's research findings on abortion in Latin America have been used by government officials and women's rights advocacy groups to shape evidence-based policies, including the recent change in abortion law in Mexico City," says Sandra G. Garcia, the Council's director of reproductive health for Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2007, Garcia was honored as a recipient of the Guttmacher Institute's Darroch Award for Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health Research. She was cited for "research documenting abortion-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices in Mexico" that "played an important role in the...recent decision to legalize first-trimester abortion." (excerpt)
[Unpublished] 2003 Nov. 36 p.The GTZ supported Community Based Distribution (CBD) of family planning (FP) methods, implemented in Tanga region of Tanzania, aimed to increase the use of contraceptives through better geographical and social access. An evaluation collecting views from community members found that CBD activities are felt to improve child and maternal health, and to free women to participate in economic and community work. Clients felt that the FP accessed through CBD gave them improved capacity to care for their smaller families and to work more productively. Community members also felt that CBD introduced sensitive topics such as HIV/AIDS in a culturally acceptable way. In short, the community clearly expressed how CBD activities contribute to reaching the MDG. Much of the programme has been successfully absorbed into the district work plan, but initial training of CBD is still financially dependent on GTZ, putting into question the programme's sustainability. The issues that the feedback on the CBD Programme focused on which are summarized in this report include the following: its usefulness, its organization, its main strengths and successes, its weaknesses and problems, suggestions given to enhance performance. (excerpt)
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2006 Nov; 160(11):1151-1156.The objective was to examine US public opinion on sex education in schools to determine how the public's preferences align with those of policymakers and research scientists. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: July 2005 through January 2006. Participants: Randomly selected nationally representative sample of US adults aged 18 to 83 years (N=1096). Main Outcome Measures: Support for 3 different types of sex education in schools: abstinence only, comprehensive sex education, and condom instruction. Approximately 82% of respondents indicated support for programs that teach students about both abstinence and other methods of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Similarly, 68.5% supported teaching how to properly use condoms. Abstinence-only education programs, in contrast, received the lowest levels of support (36%) and the highest level of opposition (about 50%) across the 3 program options. Self-identified conservative, liberal, and moderate respondents all supported abstinence-plus programs, although the extent of support varied significantly. Our results indicate that US adults, regardless of political ideology, favor a more balanced approach to sex education compared with the abstinence-only programs funded by the federal government. In summary, abstinence-only programs, while a priority of the federal government, are supported by neither a majority of the public nor the scientific community. (author's)
Comprehensive sex education: strong public support and persuasive evidence of impact, but little funding.
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2006 Nov; 160(11):1182-1184.The article by Bleakley et al strong evidence that a very large majority of adults in this country supports comprehensive sex education programs that teach about abstinence and also other methods of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, whereas only a minority of adults supports the teaching of only abstinence. These results build on numerous somewhat similar surveys that have been conducted for decades demonstrating such support. Indeed, as long ago as 1943, the Gallup Poll found that 68% of adults approved of sex education in schools. By 1985, that support had increased to 85%. Furthermore, for decades these polls have demonstrated that adults want the instruction to include both abstinence and condoms and other methods of contraception. Notably, this support is not limited to only certain parts of the country; similar polls in more conservative southern states, such as North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, have demonstrated strong support for programs that encourage abstinence but also encourage the use of condoms and other contraceptives among those who do have sex. (excerpt)
Adapting the popular opinion leader intervention for Latino young migrant men who have sex with men.
AIDS Education and Prevention. 2006; 18 Suppl A:137-148.Young Latino migrant men who have sex with men are at high risk for HIV infection. The Popular Opinion Leader intervention, shown to be effective with White gay men, was adapted by the Farm worker Justice Fund, Inc., for this Latino migrant population. This project, called the Young Latino Promotores, was implemented over a 2-year period by community-based organizations in Vista, California, and McAllen, Texas, with capacity building assistance from the Farm worker Justice Fund, Inc. We report on challenges, preliminary findings, and lessons learned from adapting this intervention. (author's)
Washington, D.C., National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, .  p.There is reason to be concerned about adolescents having sex at an early age. Early sexual activity has been linked to a greater number of sexual partners over time and an increased risk of both teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In addition, the younger a girl is the first time she has sex, the more likely it is that the experience was unwanted. The information in this fact sheet, collected from nationally representative data sets and public opinion surveys, provides some insights into the sexual attitudes and behavior of young adolescents. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Putting What Works to Work, 2004 Feb.  p. (Science Says No. 7)Who most influences teens' decisions about sex? Do parents or peers matter more? Should society strongly encourage adolescents to abstain from sexual intercourse? What do adults and teens think about topics such as contraception, virginity, and the influence of the media? Understanding Americans' attitudes about these topics helps point to strategies for addressing teen pregnancy prevention. To that end, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy commissions annual surveys of adults and adolescents seeking answers to these and related questions. This Science Says brief summarizes some of the key findings from the National Campaign's 2003 survey. Data in this brief are drawn from the publication, With One Voice 2003: America's Adults and Teens Sound Off About Teen Pregnancy. The surveys were conducted via telephone in August and September 2003 with over 1,000 adults (aged 20 and over) and 1,000 adolescents (aged 12--19). All results are considered nationally representative. See the methodology section below for more information on how these surveys were conducted. (excerpt)
Connections. 2006 Jan;  p.Public opinion surveys in Russia indicate that a majority of Russians believe more attention should be given to HIV/AIDS and that the media can be an effective vehicle for promoting greater awareness of the issue, according to a July 2005 survey released by Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS (TPAA). The survey, which polled a nationally representative sample of Russian adults aged 18 to 50, also indicates that 84 percent of respondents believe that the number of Russians living with AIDS has increased during the past five years, 70 percent believe that AIDS is not receiving enough public attention, and 78 percent view mass media as an instrumental component in the fight against AIDS. This survey is reflective of official AIDS statistics, which estimate that 800,000 to 1.5 million Russians may be living with HIV/AIDS, according to TPAA. The organization also reports that AIDS has been particularly devastating to younger generations, with men and women under the age of 30 accounting for 80 percent of all registered cases of HIV. This finding is critical because it raises serious health concerns for the future of an already declining Russian population. (excerpt)
Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. 1999; 5(4):340-349.Are youths, particularly youths of color, engaged in high levels of health risk behaviors, and is public perception regarding these behaviors accurate? In answer to the 1st question, 2 analytic samples were drawn: (a) 14-15-year-old 9th graders (N = 94) from the Puerto Rican Adolescent study, conducted in the greater Boston area, and (b) 14-15-year-old 9th graders (N = 876) from the Massachusetts 1995 Youth Risk Behavior (YRB) survey. The samples were used to determine the comparative levels of health risk behaviors in 3 areas: intimate relations, substance use, and violence. The Puerto Rican adolescents reported being engaged in significantly less substance abuse and violence than did the adolescents of the Massachusetts YRB survey. To address the 2nd question of public perception, a 3rd, community samples of Boston-area professionals and college students (N = 99) estimated the percentages of Puerto Rican 9th graders' and Massachusetts 9th graders' participation in health risk behaviors. With the exception of engaging in sexual relations, where the community estimate and the Puerto Rican self-reports were nearly equal, the community sample overestimated the Puerto Rican youths' levels of participation in every other area of risk. Moreover, the community sample overestimated the Massachusetts 9th graders' behaviors with regard to failing to use contraception and school safety. Methodological considerations of self-report data are considered, and the implications of the stereotypic views of adolescents are discussed. (author's)
Public opinion regarding oocyte donation in Turkey: first data from a secular population among the Islamic world.
Human Reproduction. 2006; 21(1):318-323.We aimed to reveal the general attitudes of Turkish people toward various aspects of oocyte donation. This descriptive study was carried out in two separate districts of a large Turkish city. Four hundred participants were chosen by cluster sampling methods. The questionnaires were performed by 4th year medical students face to face with the participants. The participants consisted of 232 women (58%) and 168 men (42%); 65% were married, 5% were divorced; 64% had children, 15 (4%) had infertility problems, 263 (66%) were graduates of high school or university; 269 (67%) considered themselves religious. Only less than one-third of the respondents actually knew what oocyte donation meant. Approval of oocyte donation was high in our study sample. Only 61 (15%) respondents showed complete objection to oocyte donation and more men were in favour than women. Less than half of the participants thought that their religion would prevent oocyte donation if they needed it. More than half of the participants would prefer the use of oocyte donation treatment rather than adoption of a child. This is the first report on the attitudes towards oocyte donation from a country having a secular constitution and whose population is mainly Muslim. The most important conclusion to be drawn from the present study is the fact that most of the participants did not have any objection to oocyte donation treatments. (author's)
Population and Development Review. 2005 Jun; 31(2):313-336.After the communist revolution, the population of the People’s Republic of China grew rapidly, increasing by 80 percent between 1950 and 1980 (United Nations 2005). Partly this increase was due to improved social and economic conditions that greatly reduced mortality. Early in the period the Party’s pronatalist exhortations reflected an anti-Malthusian ideology. In the mid-1950s, China’s total fertility rate exceeded 6 children per woman. Although the fertility rate had fallen to less than half that level by the late 1970s, in 1979–80 China introduced its one-child birth planning policy to reduce the country’s rapid population growth. A well-publicized Chinese projection at the time argued that, if the fertility rate stayed at 3, China’s population would be 4.26 billion in 2080, “almost equal to the total  population of the entire world.” he stringent restrictions and coercion associated with the one-child policy aroused international controversy. Some observers viewed it with dismay and disapproval. To this day the policy remains a key impediment to US government contributions to the United Nations Population Fund (US Department of State 2002, 2004). Given the demographic, human rights, and political significance of the policy, it is important to ascertain the attitudes of Chinese citizens to the policy. (excerpt)
Menlo Park, California, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2001. 22 p.Latinos, who now comprise the largest and fastest growing ethnic minority in the United States, continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. Although they represent approximately 14% of the U.S. population, Latinos accounted for 19% of new AIDS cases reported in 2000. The AIDS case rate (per 100,000) among Latino adults (30.4) was almost four times that for whites (7.9), and AIDS is now the fourth leading cause of death for Latinos between the ages of 25 and 44. The epidemic’s effect on different subgroups of Latinos is also striking. For example, the AIDS case rate among adult Latinas is 13.8 per 100,000, more than six times the rate for white women (2.2). And although Latino youth represent approximately 14% of U.S. teenagers, they accounted for 20% of new AIDS cases reported among those ages 13–19 in 2000. In addition, in a recent study of young men who have sex with men (MSM), HIV prevalence (the proportion of people living with HIV in a population) for young Latinos was 6.9, compared to 3.3 for whites. Finally, there is growing evidence that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is increasingly concentrated in low-income communities in which people of color are often disproportionately represented. Such communities generally are faced with multiple other health and social issues and limited resources with which to respond to the epidemic. (excerpt)
Menlo Park, California, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2001. 60 p.On June 5, 1981, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first warning about a relatively rare form of pneumonia among a small group of young gay men in Los Angeles, which was later determined to be AIDS-related. Since that time, more than 750,000 cases of AIDS have been reported in the U.S. and almost half a million Americans have died of the disease. Of the more than 36 million individuals worldwide estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS, approximately 95% live in the developing world – a full 70% in sub-Saharan Africa alone. During this twenty-year period, there has been a great deal of progress in the fight against AIDS. New infections in the U.S. have declined dramatically, and there are signs that new infections in sub-Saharan Africa may be stabilizing. The more widespread use of antiretroviral drugs has also contributed to fewer new AIDS cases and AIDS-related deaths. Despite this progress, critical challenges remain. The AIDS epidemic is becoming increasingly complex. Proven prevention programs are not reaching everyone in need. More people are living with HIV/AIDS than ever before, and significant disparities exist across age and race. For example, while African Americans and Latinos represent 12% and 13% of the U.S. population, they represent 47% and 19% of reported cases, respectively. An estimated half of all new infections in the U.S. are among those under the age of 25. In addition, the high cost of HIV care presents significant barriers to access for people with HIV/AIDS in the United States, many of whom are not in regular care, and treatment is not available to the vast majority of those living with HIV/AIDS in the developing world. And though progress is steady, we are still years away from developing an effective vaccine. (excerpt)
Menlo Park, California, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2001. 18 p.African Americans have been disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS since the epidemic’s beginning. In the year 2000, more African Americans were reported with AIDS, and estimated to be living with AIDS, than any other racial or ethnic group in the United States. Although African Americans represent approximately 12% of the U.S. population, they now account for an estimated 54% of new HIV infections and 47% of new AIDS cases. The AIDS case rate (per 100,000) among African Americans is more than eight times the rate among whites and more than twice the rate for Latinos. Moreover, AIDS is now the leading cause of death for African Americans between the ages of 25 and 44. The epidemic has also affected particular subgroups within the African American community. Although African American women represent only 13% of the U.S. female population, they account for almost two-thirds (63%) of AIDS cases reported among women in 2000. African American teens represent 15% of the teen population, yet comprise 64% of new AIDS cases reported among 13–19 year olds in 2000. In addition, in a recent multi-city study of young men who have sex with men (MSM), HIV prevalence (the proportion of people living with HIV in a population) for young African Americans was 14.1%, compared to 3.3% for whites. Finally, there is growing evidence that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is increasingly concentrated in low-income communities in which people of color are often disproportionately represented. Such communities generally are faced with multiple other health and social issues and limited resources with which to respond to the epidemic. (excerpt)
Menlo Park, California, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2003 Jun. 4 p. (Facts. Fact Sheet)Each year, there are approximately fifteen million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the U.S., and this country has the highest rate of STD infection in the industrialized world. By age 24, at least one out of every four Americans is believed to have contracted an STD, and an estimated 65 million Americans are now living with an incurable STD. Research suggests that women are biologically more susceptible to STD exposure than men. While STDs, including HIV, affect every age group, people under 25 account for roughly two-thirds of all new STD infections: 42 percent occur among those aged 20-24 and 25 percent occur among 15-to-19-year-olds. CDC data also show higher reported rates of STDs among some racial and ethnic minority groups, compared with rates among whites – possibly reflecting overall health disparities as well as greater use of public health clinics by minority populations. (excerpt)
Menlo Park, California, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004 Feb. 22 p.While women are the direct users of emergency contraception, men play an important role in reducing unintended pregnancies, making it important to understand their familiarity with and attitudes toward emergency contraception. This survey is one of the first that examines men’s knowledge and attitudes. This survey also provides insight into teenagers’ experiences with emergency contraception, which differ somewhat from those of their adult counterparts. This report has two major sections. Section I presents survey findings on knowledge of and attitudes towards emergency contraception among Californians of reproductive age. Section II discusses the experiences of Californians in obtaining and using emergency contraceptives. The conclusion summarizes the key survey findings and identifies remaining challenges to increasing public awareness of emergency contraceptives in order to reduce unintended pregnancy. (excerpt)
Columbia Journalism Review. 2004 Mar-Apr; (2 Suppl):1-8.HIV/AIDS took the U.S. by surprise in the 1980s, and it continues to be a health epidemic with unique characteristics. As a news topic, HIV/AIDS has not only been a health story, but also one about arts, culture, taboo, sexuality, religion, celebrity, business, and politics on the local, national, and global stage. Media coverage of the HIV/AIDS epidemic has, at times, helped shape the policy agenda, while also reflecting current policy discussions, debates and important events. In many cases, the news media have served as an important source of information about the epidemic for the public. In an October 2003 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 72% of the U.S. public said that most of the information they get about HIV/AIDS comes from the media, including television, newspapers, and radio. (excerpt)
Kaiser Family Foundation Survey of Americans on HIV / AIDS. Part Three – Experiences and opinions by race / ethnicity and age. Summary and chartpack.
Menlo Park, California, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004 Aug.  p.The Kaiser Family Foundation Survey of Americans on HIV/AIDS was designed and analyzed by researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Fieldwork was conducted by telephone by Princeton Survey Research Associates between March 15 and May 11, 2004, among a nationally representative random sample of 2,902 respondents 18 years of age and older. The survey included an oversample of African American and Latino respondents (a total of 800 African American and 439 Latino respondents were interviewed). Results for all groups have been weighted to reflect their actual distribution in the nation. The margin of sampling error for the survey is plus or minus 2 percentage points. For results based on White respondents the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points; for African Americans it is plus or minus 4 percentage points; and for Latinos it is plus or minus 6 percentage points. For results based on subsets of respondents the margin of error is higher. Note that sampling error is only one of many potential sources of error in this or any other public opinion poll. This is the third of three phases in which the full survey and in-depth analysis has been released. The first release (Part One, June 2004) focused on findings related to Americans’ views of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. The second release (Part Two, June 2004) focused on Americans’ views and experiences with HIV testing. This release (Part Three) represents a more in-depth report on Americans’ views and experiences with HIV, with a focus on differences between and among key subgroups of the population. (excerpt)
Kaiser Family Foundation Survey of Americans on HIV / AIDS. Part One -- Global HIV / AIDS. Summary and chartpack.
Menlo Park, California, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004 Jun.  p.The broad foreign policy context within which Americans view the global HIV epidemic hasn’t changed much in the past few years. Most Americans think the U.S. currently spends too much on foreign aid in general, and a strong majority believes the U.S. should address problems at home first rather than spending more money on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. In discussing Americans’ views of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, and what they think about the role of the U.S. in helping solve this global problem, it’s important to set the context with their views on foreign aid in general. More than six in ten adults (62%) think the U.S. currently spends too much on foreign aid, while about one in five (18%) say it spends about the right amount, and one in ten (10%) say the U.S. spends too little on foreign aid (Chart 1). Responses to this question have been similar since 2000. When asked about the largest areas of spending by the federal government, half the public (49%) incorrectly identifies foreign aid as one of the two largest areas of federal spending (Chart 1). Half the public (53%) agrees with the statement that the U.S. is a global leader and has a responsibility to spend more money to fight HIV/AIDS in developing countries. However, when forced to choose, three in ten (30%) say they agree more strongly with this statement, while, perhaps not surprisingly, six in ten (62%) say they agree more with the statement that the U.S. should address problems at home first rather than spending more money to fight HIV/AIDS in developing countries (Chart 2). (excerpt)
Lancet. 2005 Mar 26; 365:1119-1121.As the HIV/AIDS pandemic rages globally into a third decade, one of our best hopes for reversing the pandemic is the development, evaluation, and dissemination of safe and effective preventive HIV vaccines. An important challenge on this arduous journey is the recruitment of volunteers for trials of such vaccines. Edward Mills and colleagues’ recent article is an important milestone in this Herculean battle. They provide a comprehensive systematic review of existing studies on barriers to participation in HIV vaccine trials. They identify several key barriers to participation in HIV vaccine trials: safety concerns, mistrust of clinical research, and fear of social discrimination. They recommend that vaccine trialists use these findings to anticipate and mitigate barriers to trial participation. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, 2004 May 10. 12 p.Although emergency contraception has been available and proven safe for more than 25 years, too few Americans are aware that contraceptive methods are available that can prevent pregnancy after sex. In fact, nearly three-quarters of women surveyed have not heard of emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs), and only six percent of women aged 18 to 44 have used ECPs. Emergency contraception may be used when contraceptive methods fail, when they are misused or not used at all, and when women are sexually assaulted. Although emergency contraceptive methods are not a substitute for ongoing contraceptive use and do not protect against the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, these important and underutilized contraceptive options can reduce unintended pregnancy and the need for abortion. In fact, a 2002 study revealed that ECP use was likely responsible for up to 43 percent of the decline in the number of abortions in the U.S. between 1994 and 2000—with ECP use preventing over 50,000 abortions in 2000 alone. Emergency contraceptive pills are the most commonly used method of emergency contraception. ECPs are ordinary birth control pills that reduce a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant by up to 89 percent when taken within days of unprotected sex. ECPs do not cause abortion; rather they prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation, fertilization, or implantation before a pregnancy occurs. In fact, ECPs do not work if a woman is already pregnant. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two dedicated ECPs – PREVEN and Plan B. The copper-T intrauterine device (IUD) can also be used as an emergency contraceptive. (excerpt)