Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception, often referred to as Plan B, prevents pregnancy after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure. As physicians, we consider it an essential and safe option for women of all ages who want to avoid unintended pregnancy.  That’s why we urge the Department of Health and Human Services to lift the age limit on Plan B. Teens deserve access to this medication, on drug stores’ open shelves, without age restriction or other unnecessary obstacles. No one should have to wait for Plan B.

Read about what we are doing to lift barriers for teens who need emergency contraception.

In addition, for clinicians, we have written “Emergency Contraception: A Practitioner’s Guide.” Included in the guide is a comprehensive review of all emergency contraception available options.

Learn more:

Announcing the Newest Edition of Our Adolescent Health Curriculum

ARSHEPThe fifth edition of the Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Education Program (ARSHEP) curriculum is now available! ARSHEP is our nationwide educational initiative aimed at teaching physicians more about adolescent reproductive and sexual health. In 2014 alone, members of the 45-person ARSHEP faculty delivered nearly 100 interactive lectures and workshops to over 10,000 health care professionals across the country.

The latest curriculum consists of 20 modules—including three all-new topics—that offer comprehensive, evidence-based information about adolescent reproductive and sexual health care. Topics include long-acting reversible contraception; STI testing and treatment; caring for pregnant and parenting adolescents; pregnancy options counseling; caring for LGBTQ adolescents; emergency contraception; and physicians as advocates for adolescent reproductive health.

The ARSHEP curriculum is available in modules you can download from our website.

If you are a health care professional who works with adolescents or educates other clinicians, we hope you’ll find the fifth edition of the ARSHEP curriculum a tremendous resource. 

Our Advocacy Fellow: Plan B Efficacy and Weight

Dr. Lin Fan WangOur Reproductive Health Advocacy Fellow Dr. Lin-Fan Wang responds to the recent news reports on weight and its impact on emergency contraception efficacy:
As doctors committed to improving access to reproductive health care, we support women in having planned pregnancies. Working to make highly effective birth control methods (such as IUDs and implants) more widely accessible is an important step. However, there will always be a need for emergency contraception.   Several news outlets this week have reported on recent research about emergency contraception efficacy. This research indicates that levonorgestrel-based emergency contraception, like Plan B, may be much less effective at preventing pregnancy in women whose BMI is 25 or higher or women who weigh over 176 pounds. This is concerning because many women fall into those categories.

Brief of Amici Curiae Physicians for Reproductive Health, et. al., in Support of Petitioners

Physicians for Reproductive Health and other medical organizations filed a brief in the Supreme Court in support of the government’s petition for certiorari.


Plan B Victory! Medicine and Science Triumph Over Politics

We applaud the Administration’s decision to drop its attempts to block sales of Plan B One-Step emergency contraception without age restriction. Removing barriers to this time-sensitive medication will increase access not only for younger women but also for people of all ages without access to government-issued identification.

Our Board Chair Dr. Nancy Stanwood said: “We are relieved that the Administration has finally listened to science and medicine and that women of all ages will have access to emergency contraception. For over a decade, Physicians has endorsed an end to the unfounded and harmful age restrictions on this safe and effective medication….Today is a milestone for reproductive health.”

Read our press release here