Contraception confusion

| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

In his column “Government regs that rule our lives” (Jan. 15 and TribLIVE.com), Ed Feulner confuses emergency contraception with medication abortion and uses this claim to disparage contraceptive coverage in health care reform.

Emergency contraception is exactly what it sounds like — contraception taken during an emergency. Once a pregnancy has occurred, emergency contraception does not work, and therefore, emergency contraception does not cause an abortion.

As an obstetrician/gynecologist, I recommend emergency contraception to many of my patients. Some experience birth control failure (condoms breaking) and emergency contraception prevents pregnancy before it occurs. I also provide women with emergency contraception after sexual assault.

In all of these patients, emergency contraception can help prevent a pregnancy from ever occurring. There are no circumstances in which emergency contraception causes an abortion.

Access to affordable contraception — including emergency contraception — is a crucial component to preventing unplanned pregnancies and will help improve health care for women. The contraceptive coverage mandate is a move in the right direction for women's health.

Rachel B. Rapkin

Forest Hills

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