May 2004

My Steps in the March for Women's Lives

LeConte J. Dill, MPH

On Sunday, April 25, 2004, I was fortunate to be sponsored by CABWHP to attend the March for Women's Lives in Washington, DC. CABWHP staff, volunteers, ATP graduates, and board members marched together with the Women of Color Contingent. This contingent added to the march's success of over one million participants. Not surprisingly, women of color had to demand a seat at the table amongst our other sisters, showing that the "ain't I a woman" mantra is often at the tips of our tongues. Most of the contingent wore red-symbolizing struggle, sacrifice, and survival.



On May 6, 2004, the FDA decided not to approve over-the-counter availability for Emergency Contraception ("EC"). This is an egregious assault against the reproductive health of women. Given the strong scientific evidence and unprecedented medical consensus supporting making EC available over the counter, this decision is unjustifiable.

Emergency Contraception is a time-sensitive treatment. If taken within 72 hours, it reduces the risk of pregnancy by up to 89 percent. The sooner a woman takes it, the better it works. Requiring a prescription for EC is a proven barrier for some women to get this back-up birth control method in time. EC helps reduce unintended pregnancy and the need for abortion.

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