A Lesson Plan
Facts about Emergency Birth Control Pills—True or False
Purpose: To educate young women ages 16 through 24 about the existence, safety, and effectiveness of emergency birth control pills and to empower them to increase awareness of and access to emergency birth control pills in their community
Materials: Newsprint; markers; tape; two signs—one that says "Myth" and another that says "Fact"; Leader's resource; for each student, a copy of the fact sheet and/or the brochure for young women about emergency birth control pills.
Time: 50 minutes
Planning Notes: Read the fact sheet and the leader's resource to prepare to lead this session. Tape the "Myth" and "Fact" signs at opposite ends of the room.
- Ask the group if anyone knows of a method to prevent pregnancy after a couple has had unprotected sex, if they have a problem with their contraceptive method, or if a young woman has been raped.
- Explain that many people, even adult women and some health care providers, do not know about emergency birth control or may believe myths about it. Ask the group to stand. You are going to read a series of statements about emergency birth control pills. If they believe the statement is true, ask them to move to stand under the sign that says 'Fact.' If they believe the statement is false, ask them to stand under the sign that says 'Myth'. Check to see if there are any questions.
- Read the statements on the Leader's Resource. Ask the group standing under the incorrect sign first to explain why they chose that answer. Then ask the group standing under the correct answer to explain why they chose their answer. Be sure to gently dispel any continuing myths and stress that the goal of the activity is to become more educated about the topic, not to embarrass anyone.
- After the activity, ask everyone to take a seat again. Ask what they learned about emergency birth control pills that surprised them. Do they know anyone in their family, or school, or community that knows about emergency birth control pills or where to get them?
- Brainstorm the benefits of emergency birth control pills and also some of the concerns about them. See if the group can reach consensus that emergency birth control pills could be an important resource for all young people to know about.
- Divide the group into smaller groups of 5 or 6. Give each group a sheet of newsprint and a marker and ask them to come up with ways to raise awareness about emergency birth control pills among young women and ways to increase access to the pills.
- After all groups have reported their suggestions, you may want to ask if anyone is interested in implementing any of the ideas. If so, what would the necessary steps be to make it happen in their school, clinic, or community? Small Action Teams can be formed, and the groups can report on progress they make toward their goal at a future meeting.
- What did you learn about emergency birth control pills that surprised you?
- Do you think it is important for all young women to have accurate information about emergency birth control pills? Why or why not?
- Do you think, considering what you have learned, that emergency birth control pills should be available as non-prescription medication to young women ages 16-18? Why or why not?
Click here for the Leader's Resource.