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Expanding Access to Emergency Contraception in Developing Countries

Charlotte Ellertson, Beverly Winikoff, Elizabeth Armstrong, Sharon Camp and Pramilla Senanayake
Studies in Family Planning
Vol. 26, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 1995), pp. 251-263
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/2138011
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2138011
Page Count: 13
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Expanding Access to Emergency Contraception in Developing Countries
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Abstract

Emergency contraception has been called the best-kept contraceptive secret. Previous research shows that several regimens of postcoital contraception offer safe and effective ways for women to avoid pregnancy. Yet the methods are typically unavailable to women in developing countries. In this article, the authors review the main methods of emergency contraception and describe experience with them to date. The prevalence and urgency of the need for making these methods available to women in developing countries are assessed. The necessary elements for creating such access are described. In several developing countries, conditions for introducing the methods may be more favorable than in industrialized countries. These advantages are reviewed. Finally, the authors describe the challenges anticipated for broadening the availability of postcoital methods in the developing world. They conclude with a brief series of recommendations for policymakers.

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