Informing women of morning after pill could be a must

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - What women know about emergency contraception isn't enough. That's the view embodied in two bills proposed in the Texas House.

But why women need more information remains a sticking point. Supporters of one proposal say rape victims may not know enough to seek and get emergency contraception, if they want it. The other side wants to make sure women who do get emergency contraception are told exactly how the pill works in case it interferes with their moral or religious beliefs.

Emergency contraception, also called the morning-after pill or Plan B, can be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. It works like birth control, using hormones to stop ovulation and make it harder for an egg to implant.

A bill pushed by Democratic Rep. Jessica Farrar of Houston would make sure sexual assault survivors are told about Plan B and offered it immediately in the emergency room.

Other legislation filed by Republican Rep. Frank Corte of San Antonio would require pharmacists to tell women exactly how emergency contraception can block an egg that may already be fertilized.

The bill would also require pharmacies dispensing the pill to post an 18-by-24 inch sign in English and Spanish at the cash register. The sign would inform buyers who believe life begins at conception that emergency contraception may prevent their pregnancy.

Opponents of the legislation think it is an invasion of privacy that might shame women seeking the morning-after pill.

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