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International Community Should Integrate Emergency Contraception Into Family Planning Services

Devex: Emergency contraception: The reproductive health innovation everyone should know about
Elizabeth Westley, director of the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception, and Monica Kerrigan, deputy director of reproductive health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…The family planning community must pick up the momentum and work to integrate [emergency contraception (EC)] into family planning services, discussions, and country plans. Donors must consider funding programs that include EC as part of the contraceptive method mix. More research and testing are needed to understand whether community-based distribution systems can successfully and safely provide EC. … Governments, civil society, the private sector, and NGOs all have a role to play in making sure that EC is widely accessible, integrated into the mainstream, and available to every woman and girl who wants and needs it. Ultimately, women and girls deserve to have effective methods, full information, and affordable and quality products to plan their families and their futures. It’s up to all of us to ensure this ‘best-kept secret’ doesn’t remain a secret any longer” (9/21).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.