Today is the 11th annual Back Up Your Birth Control Day of Action sponsored by the the National Institute for Reproductive Health. So, once again I’m helping them spread the word by blogging about emergency contraception. This year the campaign has asked us to combat the misinformation about emergency contraception that misleadingly equates emergency contraception with mifepristone (aka RU-486) which is used to induce medical abortion. To combat this misinformation, this year’s theme is EC=BC, “emphasizing that EC is a form of contraception that prevents pregnancy even though it’s taken after sex.”
Misinformation about the mechanism of action of EC dates back to the origins of this birth control technology in the 1960s. Two of the researchers who developed the first oral contraceptive pill — Gregory Pincus and Min Chueh Chang — first described their work on what they called a postcoital contraceptive in 1966. Yet the third “father” of the pill — physician John Rock, a devout Catholic — falsely claimed that this “morning-after pill” was an abortifacient. This erroneous statement has stuck despite efforts by Pincus, Change, other scientists and activists to set the record straight.
[for more on this fascinating history, see my book, The Morning After: A History of Emergency Contraception in the United States. You can find out more about it at the Rutgers University Press website,]
Here are other ways you can join the Day of Action:
- Share the images on our EC = BC tumblr with your networks! We posted many more new images today. Follow and reblog on tumblr, post our images on Facebook, and tweet or mention them on Twitter!
- Get creative and submit your own images to the EC = BC tumblr! We’ll circulate your images on social media throughout the day.
- Get an EC coupon for Plan B One-Step® and ella® on the Back Up Your Birth Control website! Use them to purchase EC for yourself, send them to your friends, and let others know they can buy it in advance so that they are always prepared.
- Blog for EC! Help us dispel the misinformation by clarifying that emergency contraception is a safe and effective form of birth control that prevents pregnancy after sex, but only works if you are not pregnant.
- Like the Back Up Your Birth Control Campaign on Facebook and donate your status today to spreading the word about EC! Here’s an example: “Don’t believe the right-wing hype! Emergency contraception (EC) is a safe, effective way to prevent pregnancy after sex. Get more info at www.BackUpYourBirthControl.org.”
- Print out copies of the EC Information Sheet and distribute them to members of your community.