ext time you're doing the nasty and that condom breaks, you don't have to break into a cold sweat worrying about pregnancy. Now there's a solution that doesn't involve jumping up and down or making deals with a higher power. The morning-after pill, which earned FDA approval last September, is finally making its way to drugstores across the country.
The Preven emergency contraception kit (about $20) contains four birth control pills, two of which must be taken within 72 hours of the sexual encounter and the other two 12 hours later. The kit also comes with a test to see if you're already preggers, in which case the pills won't terminate the pregnancy. And take note: This kit does nothing to stop the spread of STDs or HIV, so protected sex is still vital.
Even though many college students are cheering the kits, some say they encourage irresponsibility. "It promotes thinking after you act instead of before," says Purdue sophomore Gretchen Sunko, president of Students for Life. "It's the same thing as an abortion."
Preven's manufacturers counter that their contraceptive kit doesn't abort a pregnancy it prevents ovulation and fertilization. "The issue is not abortion but control over a woman's body," says U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, sophomore Cheryl Bratt, a member of Students for Choice. "A woman should have the right to determine her own future."
And if you've ever had a condom break, you'll be glad that future includes an emergency contraceptive kit.
By Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud, U. of Michigan/Photo by Christopher Mortensen, Penn State U.