The Legal Status of Emergency Contraception
International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 75, pp. 185-191, 2001
7 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2006
Emergency contraception EC, an intervention within 72 h of unprotected intercourse, dates back approximately 30 years, to the Yuzpe method. Recent development of a second generation of 'morning after,' better called 'emergency' contraceptives, has raised claims that they are abortifacient. These claims are largely rejected in medical, legal and much religious reasoning. Pregnancy is usually ascribed to the postimplantation period; means to prevent completion of implantation do not terminate pregnancy. An alternative attack on EC has arisen under South American laws that protect human life 'from conception.' The chance of conception from a single act of unprotected intercourse is very low, in view of limited times of fertility during menstrual cycles. The protection of a woman's life is not suspended during pregnancy. Risks to women's interests are more credible than the chance of conception having occurred. The claim to prohibit EC to protect embryonic life from conception is therefore problematic.
Keywords: Contraception, Emergency contraception, Fertilization, Contragestion, 'Morning after' contraception, Conception, Post-coital contraception, Levonorgestrel
JEL Classification: I18, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation