Doctors Group Starts Ad Campaign Urging Women to Use Morning After Pill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 8, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Doctors Group Starts Ad Campaign Urging Women to Use Morning After Pill Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 8, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Frequently taking political stances at odds with its membership, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has started a new advertising campaign urging women to use the morning after pill.

The campaign features ads for doctors to post in their offices and waiting rooms, but pro-life doctors who oppose the drug, which can sometimes cause an abortion, may not be receptive.

"We want women to be prepared, well before a contraceptive failure or unprotected sex occurs. Afterward may be too late," Dr. Michael Mennuti, president of ACOG, told AP.

ACOG says the morning after pill should cut in half the 3 million unplanned pregnancies that occur annually in the United States.

However, that’s not what a study conducted by researchers at the University of San Francisco found.

UCSF tracked 2,117 local women from age 15 to 24 who participated in the study for six months. Some women were given a personal supply of the pills, another group were told to obtain the pills at a local pharmacy, and a third group were instructed to get the drugs from a local health clinic.

The study found that increased access to the "morning after" pill did not lower pregnancy rates, because many women did not use the pills. In fact, only 55 percent of the women who had the pills already in their possession took them following sexual intercourse.

Regardless of which of the three control groups the women were placed in, the results showed the same percentage of women in each group had sex, contracted sexually transmitted diseases and became pregnant at the same rates.

Still ACOG has pressed federal officials to approve the morning after pill over the counter status. But, with the FDA stalling on a final decision, the group has decided to move forward with an ad campaign.

"This is really a call to action — a call to make Plan B available and to make sure patients know how to use it," Dr. Vivian Dickerson, the group’s past president told ABC News.

The new "Ask me" ads include waiting room posters designed to encourage women to ask their doctors about the Plan B drug "Accidents happen," the posters say.

ACOG plans to send the posters to its 49,000 members but pro-life OBGYNS may be opposed to putting them up.

Currently nine states allow the morning after pill to be purchased over the counter and without a prescription.

Related web sites:
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists –