No. Emergency contraception (EC) can be taken within 5 days (120 hours) of unprotected intercourse because it works quickly to prevent ovulation, thus preventing a pregnancy from beginning. It is not a way to end an existing pregnancy, and will not be effective in doing so if used for this reason. Once pregnancy is under way and a fertilized egg has attached to the wall of the uterus, there is no evidence that emergency contraception harms or ends the pregnancy. EC can be an important option for survivors of sexual assault.

EC is more effective the sooner you take it after unprotected sex. Currently one type of EC pills, Plan B One-Step, is available to anyone of any age in a pharmacy or health center over the counter without a prescription. Generic levonorgestrel-based EC pill options are kept behind the counter and are available without a prescription to anyone 17 or older. There are several brands of EC pills and each works a little differently. However, none of them cause an abortion.

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Building Healthy Futures:

The Campaign to Prevent Unintended Pregnancy in New York City sponsored by Planned Parenthood of New York City and partners

FOUNDING PARTNERS: Bronx District Public Health Office, NYC Dept of Health & Mental Hygiene • The Bronx Health Link • Hostos Community College • Montefiore Medical Center • Planned Parenthood® of New York City • The Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco)

Thanks to our friends at Bedsider.org and Beforeplay.org for sharing information and tools in this website