RaisingHerVoice.org provides a safe space for survivors of sexual assault to share their experiences with emergency contraception (EC or the "morning-after pill"). The website aims to raise awareness about the important role of EC during a time of crisis. Please note that some of the material on this website may bring up unexpected feelings for survivors of sexual assault.
RaisingHerVoice featured at Pennsylvania V-Day Events! Colleges and universities around Pennsylvania will feature RaisingHerVoice.org materials at their Vagina Monologue campaigns this month. Check out the V-Day event nearest you to get involved.
Boston Legal Depicts Critical Role of EC after Rape. In Boston Legal's "Smile" episode, one of the issues addressed is access to emergency contraception (EC) in hospital emergency rooms for women who have been raped. In this episode, a young woman sues a Catholic hospital for denying her emergency contraception while being treated after rape. Her attorney, Shirley Schmidt, emphasizes the professional obligation doctors have to their patients to disclose all medical options even when those options might conflict with the doctor's personal beliefs. Read Schmidt's closing statement.
To use this episode to educate others about the important role of EC after sexual assault, host a Boston Legal Viewing Party. We now have DVD copies for you to borrow for your event! Emergency Contraceptive Plan B is Now Available Without a Prescription! The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved emergency contraceptive Plan B for over-the-counter status to individuals age 18 and older. Younger women age 17 and under still require a prescription in order to purchase the medication. Read more.
What is Emergency Contraception? Emergency contraception (EC) can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. EC can be used if the primary form of contraception fails, if you have unplanned sex, or if you are forced to have sex. It is often known as “the morning after pill,” but this name is misleading because EC can prevent pregnancy up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex. However, the sooner it is taken, the better. Read more about EC
The stories on RaisingHerVoice.org are from real women from across the United States, as told by the women themselves or by advocates. Names and other identifying information have been changed to protect the anonymity of the survivors. Please note that the stories on this website may bring up unexpected feelings for survivors of sexual assault. Heather went out one Saturday night with friends. She decided to go home early because she wasn't feeling well. Gina was raped in 1997 by a man who broke into her home in the early hours of the morning. Following the rape, she called 911 and the police came to her house. They escorted Gina and her boyfriend to the hospital emergency room. Maria was 14 and living with five other girls in a group home run by a married couple. Her house parents seemed very nice but as time revealed, the husband was a convicted felon. Priya is a Direct Services Supervisor for a sexual assault services center. In the summer of 2002, she supervised a case involving a 14-year old girl who had been sexually assaulted by an acquaintance. Jasmine was asleep in bed next to her four year-old son when she was accosted by an unknown man who handcuffed, blindfolded, and kidnapped her at gunpoint, threatening to kill her if she did not cooperate.
Emergency contraceptive Plan B is now available as an over-the-counter product in pharmacies nationwide. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Plan B to be sold without a prescription to individuals age 17 and older. To purchase Plan B in your pharmacy, you have to go to the pharmacy counter, ask for Plan B, and present a "government-issued" I.D. The medication usually costs between $35-60.
If you are under age 17 , you still require a prescription for EC in most states. However, the following states allow pharmacists to prescribe emergency contraceptive pills directly to women under 17: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Vermont, Washington State. You should still call ahead to make sure there will be a pharmacist who can prescribe EC to you. For locations, check out the websites below.
Many hospitals, clinics, gynecologists and college health centers prescribe and dispense EC, although most do not advertise that they offer it. Minors do not need their parents’ permission to get EC (or any other kind of birth control). Many family planning clinics and colleges offer EC to their patients at a reduced cost or even for free. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women keep a dose of EC at home in case of an emergency. Ask your health care provider if they offer this service, called advance prescription. If you were refused EC, click here to learn about what you can do.