The latest numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics show that use of the “morning after” contraceptive, known as the “abortion pill” among pro-life activists, has risen dramatically over the past 10 years. The report from the statistics arm of the federal Centers for Disease Control found that 11 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 who identified themselves as “sexually experienced” had used one of the brands of the so-called “emergency contraceptive,” which research shows can cause abortion. The one in nine sexually active women who said they had used the drug after sex accounts for some 5.8 million women nationally, compared to 2002 statistics of only four percent of women who said they had used the pill.
The survey found that of those who reported using the pill between 2006 and 2010, 59 percent said they had used it only one time, 24 percent said they had used the pill twice, and 17 percent three time or more.
The study found that those using the “emergency contraceptive” were most likely to be between the ages of 20 and 24 (23 percent) and never married (19 percent). By contrast, only five percent of women between 30 and 44 years old reported using the emergency pill, and only six percent of either current or once-married women said they had used the pill after sex.
In 2010 the Food and Drug Administration approved the morning-after pill for sale without a prescription to women over the age of 17, and the increased use correlates to easier access and the fact that no doctor needs to dispense the drug. Overall, according to the CDC's National Health Statistics Reports, 99 percent of sexually active women between 15 and 44 (53 million) have used some form of contraception.
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