A new federal health report indicates that the number of U.S. women using the “morning-after” contraception pill has risen dramatically in the last decade. The study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed about 4.2 percent of women in 2002 said they had used the pill, but between 2006 and 2010, that figure had jumped to 11 percent, which translates to 5.8 million women—between 15 and 44 years old—who used the emergency contraception.
The morning-after pill was particularly popular among young women between 20 and 24 years old, who accounted for 23 percent of users.
The study was the first government report to focus on emergency contraception since its approval 15 years ago.
Additionally, the study revealed that 19 percent of the women who used the pill weren’t married, and 14 percent lived with a partner.
The most common reasons for using the pill were a woman’s fear that the contraceptive she was using might not work, or because she had unprotected sex.
Most of the women who took the morning-after pill had used it only once, 24 percent used it twice, and 17 percent had used it at least three times.
The new report is likely to buttress the Obama administration’s goal of providing contraception to all women, which has pitted the administration against religious and conservative groups that oppose any form of birth control.