From secret to shelf: how collaboration is bringing emergency contraception to women.

Pillsbury B; Coeytaux F; Johnston A
Los Angeles, California, Pacific Institute for Women's Health, 1999. 32 p.

This report chronicles the events that led to the uncovering of emergency contraception (EC) from being "America's best-kept secret", to its off-the-shelf availability. EC is a method to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse by preventing ovulation, fertilization, or implantation. The most common form consists of birth control pills known as "morning-after pills", while EC can also consist of insertion of a copper-bearing IUD. The following is discussed in this report: challenges of contraceptive development; history of EC; the launching of a national media campaign; approval of EC by the Food and Drug Administration; founding of the Consortium for EC; making access to EC easier; and lessons learned.

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