In early February the Pentagon announced that it will begin providing emergency contraception at health facilities on US military bases worldwide, according to a Department of Defense statement. This came as a result of a recommendation from the Pentagon’s Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. They voted in November of 2009 that Plan B and generic Next Choice should be included in the so called basic core formulary, which is a list of medications that are required to be stocked at military health facilities, according to The Washington Post.
Nancy Keenan, who is president of NARAL Pro-Choice Americam, said in a press release, “I believe firmly that this decision marks an end to the political intrusion of the previous administration that blocked military women from having this guaranteed access. It’s a tragedy that women in uniform have been denied such basic health care. We applaud the medical experts for standing up for military women.”
It is incredible that the former administration prevented women from having access to emergency contraception. I wonder what grounds they used for this decision. Somehow I sense they just did not approve. This was indeed a political intrusion as Keenan puts it, regarding the choices women make concerning their own bodies. If I recall correctly, there was not much media coverage about this form of denial.
Emergency Contraception is effective up to five days (120 hours) after birth control failure, unprotected sex, or rape, but it is definitely most effective (95 percent) if it is taken after 24 hours. Due to its nature, over-the-counter access is an absolute must. An existing pregnancy will not be terminated by the use of emergency contraception.
The Pentagon’s Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee are to be commended for planning to provide emergency contraception to military women, thereby reversing the decision of the previous administration.
I must also say that it is amazing how NARAL Pro-Choice fights on behalf of women’s reproductive freedom. They are always on the front lines in the struggle to guarantee that women and only women have control over their own bodies. NARAL is most deserving of applause,