Approximately 1 out of every 9 women between the ages of 15-44 now use the morning after pill, according to the first federal study to focus on emergency contraception since its approval in 1998. That is up from 4 percent in 2002.
The morning after pill is basically a high-dose version of birth control pills, and can prevent ovulation as long as it is taken within a few days of having sex.
Reasons for using the pill included having unprotected sex, although most cited a broken condom or fears that the birth control method they used had failed.
Although white women and those with higher education levels used it the most, the pill's increased popularity is generally thought to be the result of easier access as well as media coverage of controversial efforts to lower the age limit for over-the-counter sales, according to experts. A prescription is still required for women under the age of 17.
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