Michigan educates public on differences between abortion pills and emergency contraception

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are launching an effort to educate Michigan residents and health care providers about the difference between emergency contraception and abortion pills.

Emergency contraception, often referred to by the brand name Plan B or the morning after pill, is used to prevent pregnancy. Medical abortions terminate pregnancies.

Information on both will be disseminated to all local health departments, providers, hospitals, community clinics, university health systems and more. It will be provided in multiple languages, the governor and state health department said in a statement Wednesday, July 6.

RELATED: What is the difference between Plan B and the abortion pill?

“Women deserve to have control over decisions about their bodies and their lives, and the fall of Roe v. Wade leaves many people wondering about their access to health care,” Whitmer said in the statement.

Some, she said, are using the moment to confuse “significant differences”.

While the June 24 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade, removing the constitutional right to abortion, the ruling does not affect emergency contraception, a said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, medical director of the state health department. , said in the statement.

“It is critical to ensure that all Michigan healthcare providers understand what the U.S. Supreme Court decision means for them and their patients as they honor their oath to their patients, their communities and their profession,” Bagdasarian said.

Abortion, for now, remains legal in Michigan. A court injunction blocks enforcement of the 1931 state law banning abortion except to save a mother’s life as a case filed by Planned Parenthood against the state’s attorney general is in Classes. The lawsuit argues that the law violates Michigan’s constitution.

RELATED: Could Michigan’s Abortion Ban Affect Miscarriage Management, IVF and Emergency Contraception?

The state has also added information to its website to “help Michigan families understand their options and find the resources they need,” said Elizabeth Hertel, director of MDHHS. A flyer should appear on social media.

There are three types of emergency contraception, the state health department says online.

A copper IUD or intrauterine device is most effective. It is inserted by a provider within five days of a “misstep” and reduces the chance of pregnancy by 99%. It can last up to 12 years. The copper wire wrapped around the device produces an inflammatory reaction that is toxic to sperm and eggs. It prevents sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg and can also prevent implantation.

Ella is available by prescription. It blocks the hormones necessary for conception and works for up to five days after unprotected sex.

Available without a prescription from pharmacies and grocery stores, levonorgestrel or Plan B pills. “All EC levonorgestrel pills work like birth control pills, but at a much higher dose and taken temporarily,” according to the department of state health.

Emergency contraception works by delaying ovulation. It cannot disrupt an established pregnancy, doctors said.

To have a medical abortion, people first take mifepristone, which blocks progesterone, preventing pregnancy from developing. They then take the second drug, misoprostol, which causes the uterus to contract, bleed and expel the embryo.

Michigan’s 1931 law makes it a felony to willfully administer “any medicine, drug, substance, or thing” with “intent to induce a miscarriage,” which emergency contraception does not. don’t.

“Preventing conception, preventing implantation, even those wouldn’t be a miscarriage. But medicated abortion pills would do that,” said Dr. Lisa Harris, professor of reproductive health, obstetrics and gynecology, and women’s and gender studies at the University of Michigan, where she also directs the program. family planning scholarships.

Whitmer has been a strong supporter of abortion rights and is addressing the issue as she campaigns for re-election. She too has a lawsuit pending. He is asking the Michigan Supreme Court to recognize a right to abortion in the state constitution.

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