Support for EC needed

By Kayla Bertram

I am writing in support of House Bill 1077, “The Unintended Pregnancy Prevention Act”, which has recently passed out of the Human Services Committee in the Illinois House. The passing of this bill into law would allow women of all ages to have access emergency contraception (EC), brand name Plan B, directly from the pharmacy.

All women deserve to have access to EC in order increase control over their reproductive health.

The current law requires women to be 18 years and older and must show a valid identification to receive EC without a prescription. This system discriminates against young women, and women without proper identification.

EC, which is a form of back-up birth control, is more effective the sooner it is taken, so it is essential that women have timely access. Ideally, EC should be taken within the first 48 hours, but is effective at preventing pregnancy up to 120 hours after unprotected sex, contraceptive failure, or sexual assault. Young women and women without proper identification are wasting precious time waiting to see a physician to receive a prescription. They should not have to wait.

Young women have the capability to use EC correctly when dispensed from pharmacists directly. There are only mild side effects, and EC does not cause an abortion. If HB 1077 is passed, trained pharmacists will dispense EC to women of all ages, provide fact sheets, clarify instructions for use, and offer helpful communication.

I will continue to support HB 1077, and I encourage anyone who cares about women’s health to do so as well.

Kayla Bertram

senior in AHS