The Washington Legislature recently passed one of the most progressive bills in the nation to improve access to emergency contraception. Senate Bill 6537 requires every hospital that provides emergency care to a sexual assault victim to inform her about emergency contraception and her option to take it, and to provide it to her if she requests it. Prior to this bill, there was no requirement or standard policy to ensure that sexual assault victims were notified about the availability of emergency contraception when treated in emergency rooms and provided it if they wanted it. Because emergency contraception must be used within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse in order to be effective, any delay can result in an unwanted pregnancy. The passage of this bill is a significant victory for Washington women's reproductive rights.
On the heels of this victory, we are celebrating the first annual "Back Up Your Birth Control Day" as part of a national campaign to increase awareness of and access to emergency contraception. Click here to learn more about it and how you can get involved.