Emergency Birth Control Pills:
Selected, Annotated Bibliography*
Also available in [PDF] format.
The following resources were carefully selected to lead health care providers, educators, and advocates to high quality and reliable information on emergency birth control pills. The resources include: Web sites; organizations’ policy statements; literature reviews and research analyses; and consumer health information. Online links are provided, wherever possible.
Professional Resources regarding Emergency Birth Control Pills:
American Society for Emergency Contraception
ASEC is a collaboration of organizations working to improve women's access to emergency contraception, especially in the United States. ASEC serves as: a source of information on emergency contraception for the media and others; a watchdog for inaccurate or biased articles in the press; a support to other organizations willing to endorse emergency birth control pills; and a source of information, primarily through a semi-annual electronic newsletter on recent events related to emergency contraception. For the newsletter, visit http://www.emergencycontraception.org/asec/aseccontent-newsletters.html
American Pharmacists Association
Emergency Contraception: the Pharmacist’s Role, updated edition [APhA Special Report] Washington, DC: Author, 2004. This continuing education booklet is available online to members at
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
ARHP offers an entire Web section devoted to emergency contraception, including professional and consumer health information, news coverage, fact sheets, and training materials.
Bridging the Gap Foundation
Offering accurate, practical information about contraceptive options, including emergency birth control pills, A Pocket Guide to Managing Contraception is written for health care providers and may be downloaded at no cost. (111 pages)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
On August 24, 2006, the FDA approved nonprescription sales for Plan B® emergency birth control pills for women 18 years and older. Their announcement of this decision is available at: http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2006/NEW01436.html
International Consortium for Emergency Contraception
Emergency Contraceptive Pills: Medical and Service Delivery Guidelines, 2nd ed. New York: Author, 2004; http://www.cecinfo.org/publications/PDFs/resources/MedicalServiceDeliveryGuidelines_Eng.pdf
National Conference of State Legislatures
50 State Summary of Emergency Contraception Laws Denver CO: Author, 2006; http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/ECleg.htm
Updated annually, this summary is a quick and accurate guide to each state’s laws, if any, on emergency contraception.
Operated by the Office of Population Research at Princeton University and by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, the site offers accurate information for both consumers and health care providers about emergency birth control pills, including: a nationwide (but not comprehensive) directory of medical professionals who will prescribe emergency contraception and pharmacies that will fill prescriptions; current information about the brands of oral contraceptives that can be used as emergency contraception; and a summary of current research.
Reproductive Health Technologies Project (RHTP)
RHTP provides information about reproductive health issues, including emergency contraception and advocacy for reproductive rights.
South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
The South Carolina Campaign aims to prevent adolescent pregnancy in South Carolina through education, advocacy, technical assistance, public awareness and research. The Web site offers information on trends and data, model prevention programs and training opportunities as well as an issue brief on emergency contraception highlighting key facts, the latest research, and position statements from professional associations.
Position Statements on Emergency Birth Control Pills
Position statements of prominent medical, public health, and reproductive rights organizations regarding emergency contraceptive pills, their efficacy, and availability follow. Each statement is available online; where noted, the statement is available only to members.
American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Adolescence. Emergency contraception: policy statement. Pediatrics 2005; 116:1026-1035; http://aappolicy.aappublications.org
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Emergency contraception. ACOG Practice Bulletin: Clinic Management Guidelines [No. 69]. Washington, DC: Author, December 2005; members can access this document at http://www.acog.org/
American Medical Association, Council on Medical Service. Access to Emergency Contraception [H-75.985] Chicago, IL: AMA, 2006; http://www.ama-assn.org/apps/pf_new/pf_online?f_n=browse&doc=policyfiles/HnE/H-75.985.HTM.
American Medical Women’s Association. Emergency Contraception. Arlington, VA: Author, 2005; http://www.jamwa.org/index.cfm?objectid=0EF88909-D567-0B25-531927EE4CC23EFB
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. Position Statement; http://www.arhp.org/healthcareproviders/resources/ecresources/arhpposition.cfm
Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health: http://www.prch.org/advocacy_policy/ECinfomation.shtml
Society for Adolescent Medicine. Provision of emergency contraception to adolescents: position paper of the Society for Adolescent Medicine. Journal of Adolescent Health 2004; 35:66-70; http://www.adolescenthealth.org/PositionPaper_Emergency_Contraception.pdf
Recent Literature Reviews on Emergency Birth Control Pills
In addition to the literature reviews included in the position statements of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Women’s Association, and the Society for Adolescent Medicine (see links in the previous section), other important literature reviews (circa 2004 or later) are listed in this section.
Conard LAE, Fortenberry JD, Blythe MJ, Orr DP. Emergency contraceptive pills: a review of the recent literature. Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology 2004; 16:389-395.
International Consortium for Emergency Contraception. Emergency Contraceptive Pills: Medical and Service Delivery Guidelines, 2nd ed. New York: Author, 2004; http://www.cecinfo.org/publications/PDFs/resources/MedicalServiceDeliveryGuidelines_Eng.pdf
Ranney ML, Gee EM, Merchant RC. Nonprescription availability of emergency contraception in the United States: current status, controversies, and impact on emergency medicine practice. Annals of Emergency Medicine 2006; 47:461-471
Trussell J, Stewart F, Raymond EG. Emergency Contraception: A Last Chance to Prevent Unintended Pregnancy. Princeton, NJ: Office of Population Research, Princeton University, February 2008 Available online at http://ec.princeton.edu/questions/ec-review.pdf
World Health Organization. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 3rd edition, 168 p. Geneva, Switzerland: Author, 2004; http://www.who.int/reproductive-health/publications/mec/index.htm
Consumer Health Information Regarding Emergency Birth Control Pills
1.888.NOT.2.LATE or 1.866.EN.TRES.DIAS: English and Spanish (respectively) language hotlines, operating 24/7, to direct women to an ECP provider near them.
Advocates for Youth: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org
This site provides comprehensive information for parents, youth and professionals about emergency contraception. They also have a campaign targeted around access to emergency contraception.
Back Up Your Birth Control: http://www.backupyourbirthcontrol.org
The Campaign encourages women to get emergency birth control pills from their health care provider before they need them.
Emergency Contraception Web Site: http://ec.princeton.edu
The site provides a directory of clinicians willing to provide emergency contraceptives in your area.
Go Ask Alice: http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu
Produced by Columbia University's Health Education Program, this site has questions and answers on all kinds of relationship, sexuality, and sexual health issues.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/news-articles-press/politics-policy-issues/birth-control-access-prevention/emergency-contraception.htm
This site offers informative papers on emergency contraception, its history, barriers to access, and the difference between emergency contraception and abortion. The site also offers referral to local clinics.
Sex, Etc: http://www.sexetc.org
By teens and for teens, this site helps youth stay healthy, including avoiding unintended pregnancy.
This Planned Parenthood site offers great information on sexuality and relationships as well as referral to local clinics.
* For a comprehensive bibliography of medical and public health research related to emergency contraceptive pills, please click here.