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Thank you for your recent coverage of Emergency Contraception (EC) and our Dial EC hotline ("The morning after," March 8). Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina is proud to provide a service to women that promotes safe and affordable access to this time-sensitive medication.

Emergency Contraception is a high dose of birth control that, when taken up to five days after unprotected sex, can prevent unintended pregnancy. It is safe, effective and easy to use. Despite the recommendations of its own scientific panel, the FDA refuses to grant over-the-counter status for EC. Obtaining a doctor's prescription can pose numerous hurdles for women, particularly within the time frame necessary.

To remedy this, PPCNC has set up a statewide, toll-free hotline that women can call seven days a week to receive a prescription for EC and have it faxed to her nearest pharmacy. Our service is completely confidential, and provides the quickest and most accessible way to obtain EC in North Carolina.

Emergency contraception has the potential to prevent as many as 1.5 million unintended pregnancies in the United States each year, including as many as 700,000 that result in abortion. Women deserve access to quality health care, unobstructed by politics and ideology. We urge the FDA to follow science and immediately expand access to emergency contraception for women of all ages.

Karen Bley

Chief Operating Officer, Planned Parenthood
of Central North Carolina

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