A Practitioner's Response to the Morning After

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/06/11/127773992/new-morning-pill-works-five-days-later-too

As a practitioner who sees clients day in and day out dealing with unplanned pregnancy, the fear of unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, it seems to me, the need is not for another emergency drug to deal with an unplanned pregnancy--but to prevent unplanned conception in the first place. The issue is not that someone suddenly realizes they might be pregnant, the issue is that over half of all pregnancies are unplanned. The logical way to deal with a situation is usually to get to within a couple days of conception, but thatshe has put herself in a position where she could get pregnant unintentionally in the first place. We need to be addressing the risky behavior more aggressively, rather than scrambling to meet a 3-5 day deadline after the fact. Besides, the majority of the women I see don't even realize they are pregnant or have a possibility of pregnancy till they miss their first period, which is long past that 5 day mark. Women need to take ownership of their sexual behavior, they need to understand their bodies and fertility. This seems more an issue of women undervaluing their body, their sexuality, and their ability to bear children: therefore it follows, that if women were educated and learned to respect these things, they would handle them with care.

Another major idea this article seems to promote is the idea that an unplanned pregnancy is a bad thing and something that should be terminated. Not all unplanned events in life are undesired events. Some of the most beautiful and meaningful things that happen in life, happen by chance and despite our best efforts to avoid them. So, maybe our efforts should be spent in helping people learn to respect themselves and theri potential, learn to put themselves in situations that help them succeed; but then also encourage them to accept happenstance, showing them how to deal with the consequences in a healthy way, so as not to rush "dealing with it", which only will deepen the pain.

Cheri Seefeldt, FNP-C