While the US is still waiting for the approval from the FDA, in Britain the number of women getting over-the-counter morning after pills has nearly doubled in a year.
This form of emergency contraception was made available without prescription, in January 2001. The proportion now buying the drugs over the counter, instead of going to a GP or an accident department, has risen sharply from 27 per cent in 2003-04 to 50 per cent in 2004-05.
The Department of Health says that the most common reason given for the morning pilln was condom failure but others find that hardly to believe. The anti-abortion charity Life believes that widespread promotion and availability of the morning after pill encourages risky sexual behaviour and therefore leads to massive rise in sexually transmitted infections.
The director of information at the Family Planning Association says that it is only that location where women get emergency contraception has changed but that the number of women who use them remains the same.
Emergency morning after pill is effective only 72 hours after unprotected sex. This is why women find it easier to buy them in their local pharmacy than at the GP offices.
However, women should bear in mind that the morning after pill causes early medical abortion.