How accessible is EC in Europe?

July 2019. Levonorgestel (LNG) and ulipristal acetate (UPA) emergency contraception (EC) pills are registered as prescription-free medical products in most European countries. Does this mean all women in Europe have the same access to EC?

Anecdotal data suggests that we don’t: In the United Kingdom, pharmacists’ objection to dispensing EC, based on misinformation, myths or their own moral values, has been recently reported as a remaining obstacle to buy EC. In Malta, Doctors for Choice report that many pharmacies in populated locations do not stock EC pills, and the national health service does not provide them. Pharmacies that stock EC are accessible only during specific and limited times of the day.

In order to learn more about how real access to EC is in different European countries, the European Youth Network on Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YouAct) and ECEC, in cooperation with the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Ottawa, will soon launch a participatory online survey. Stay tuned. We hope you will help us gather information from your country!

This initiative is inspired by the America Society for Emergency Contraception biennial survey on EC access in the United States of America.

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