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NYCLU Applauds City Council Measure On Emergency Contraception

The New York Civil Liberties Union applauds the City Council’s efforts to make emergency contraception (“EC”) more available to New York City women, said Rebekah Diller, Interim Director of the NYCLU Reproductive Rights Project. Emergency contraception is a concentrated dose of ordinary birth control pills that can prevent pregnancy if taken within the first few days following unprotected sexual intercourse. EC has the potential to dramatically reduce unintended pregnancies. Yet, women encounter a myriad of obstacles — from lack of awareness to unwillingness to offer EC — in obtaining this critical component of reproductive health care. The New York City Council can be a leader in removing these barriers and send a message that it values women’s reproductive health needs.

Studies have shown that many pharmacies are ignorant about EC and do not stock it. Women have a right to know if their pharmacies make EC available. City-run clinics treating sexually transmitted diseases should offer EC, making it a real option for their women patients.

And finally, EC is an essential component of rape crisis treatment because it prevents unwanted pregnancy. No hospital that purports to provide emergency care to rape survivors should be allowed to withhold this vital treatment from its patients. In short, EC is basic health care for rape survivors. It is the standard of care.

The NYCLU applauds the City Council’s efforts to make the promise of EC to give women control over their bodies and reproductive health a reality in New York City.

As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
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