Survey Shows Women Unaware of Morning After Pill, How Plan B Works

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 2, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Survey Shows Women Unaware of Morning After Pill, How Plan B Works Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 2, 2006

Washington, DC ( — A new survey of women finds that just a small percentage of women are aware of the availably of the morning after pill and fewer still know how the mechanism of the Plan B drug works. The morning after pill may cause an abortion in some instances and pro-life groups oppose the use of the drug for that and other reasons.

Conducted by North Carolina-based AllPoints Research, a national Web survey of 300 women found that only 20 percent of women are aware of Plan B, and less than 8 percent really understand how the morning after pill works.

Although the Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will work with the maker of the drug, Barr Laboratories, to make it available over the counter to women over the age of 18, the survey shows most women don’t know much about it.

AllPoints reports that most of the 20 percent of women who are aware of the morning after pill understand that it is a high dosage of birth control pills meant to prevent pregnancy.

But the poll found nearly one-third of that group of 20 percent believe the Plan B drug always causes an abortion in the same way as the RU 486 abortion drug, also known as mifepristone. That drug is meant to cause an abortion in an early-term pregnancy.

The poll found that less than 8 percent of all women understood that the morning after pill is not effective if the pregnancy has already started, although it’s possible the drug can prevent implantation — which would essentially kill the unborn child before she can start the rest of the pregnancy process.

Despite their unfamiliarity with the morning after pill, the survey found 65 percent of women do not view the drug as immoral or unethical. Only 6 percent of women said the drug should never be used, including in cases of rape or incest.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins says he worries about "the potential for Plan B to be given to women, especially sexually abused women and minors, without their consent or knowledge."

"Interaction with medical professionals is a major screening and defense mechanism for victims of sexual abuse," Perkins explained. "The elimination of the routine examination of sexually active girls and women if Plan B is sold over-the-counter could cover up sexual abuse."