Ben Johnson also contributed to this story.

ATLANTA, February 15, 2013, ( – A report released this week by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) revealed that the number of women aged 15–44 using so-called “emergency contraceptive” pills in 2006-2010 was more than 11 times higher than the number who had used the 'morning after' pill in 1995.

The report stated that in 2006–2010, 11 percent (or 5.8 million) of sexually active women aged 15–44 had ever used emergency contraception, compared with 4.2 percent of women in 2002 and less than one percent in 1995.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes that the FDA first approved the pills — which can act as abortifacients — in 1998. However, evidence exists that people have used large doses of hormonal contraceptives for the same purpose since the 1960s.

The NCHS study was based on analysis of data from the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), which looked into trends and variation in the use of emergency contraception, and reasons for use among sexually active women during their fertile years.

The study found that in 2006–2010, of women who had ever used Plan B or other post-sexual birth control, 59 percent had used it once, 24 percent had used it twice, and 17 percent had used it three or more times.

Anna Franzonello, an attorney with Americans United for Life, said her “concern that life-ending drugs are being deceptively labeled as 'contraception' has only increased since the period that the CDC’s National Center for Health Services (NCHS) study examined. In 2010, the FDA approved a new drug, Ella, which can kill a human embryo even after implantation.”

She said morning-after pills had not achieved the results those in the pharmaceutical industry, and the pro-abortion movement, had claimed. “Even proponents of so-called ‘emergency contraception’ are acknowledging that ‘increased use [of Plan B] has not reduced rates of unintended pregnancies,’” she said.

The CDC has presented only a partial picture, she said. “The NCHS tells us nothing about the complications that women have experienced from using these drugs and devices.  Moreover, we know these life-ending drugs do nothing to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.”

This week, the CDC released a separate report noting 110 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States.

The “emergency contraception” report broke down 'morning after' pill usage by age, marital status, ethnic origin and race, and education.

It found a sharp difference in usage between unmarried and married women. About one in five never-married women had taken a morning-after pill, compared to one in seven cohabiting women, and just one in 20 married women.

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The reason given for using the morning after pill by about half of women who had ever used emergency contraception was a fear that the contraceptive method they routinely used would not work. The other half of women who had ever used emergency contraception reported having “unprotected sex” as a reason for use.

The study found that young adult women aged 20–24 were most likely to have ever used emergency contraception; about one in four (23 percent) had done so. This compares with 16 percent of women aged 25–29, and 14 percent of women aged 15–19. Older women had used emergency contraception less than younger women, with five percent of women aged 30–44 having ever used it.

Considering ethnic origin and race, the study found that non-Hispanic white and Hispanic women were more likely to have ever used emergency contraception (11 percent) compared with non-Hispanic black women (7.9 percent).

The report showed that use of emergency contraception increased with educational attainment. 12 percent of women with a bachelor's degree or higher and 11 percent of women with some college education had ever used it.

This compares with 7.1 percent of women who had a high school diploma or GED and 5.5 percent of women with less than a high school education.

The CDC states that there are at least four brands of emergency contraceptive pills currently available and that most are available over the counter for women aged 17 and older.