On October 4th and 5th, 2012, the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception (ICEC), which is hosted by FCI, and the American Society for Emergency Contraception (ASEC) held the annual EC Jamboree in New York City. The EC Jamboree brought together more than 100 advocates, researchers, pharmaceutical representatives, and other leaders in the field to discuss expanding efforts to ensure access to emergency contraception (EC) nationally and globally. EC is a crucial contraceptive tool for women, as it is the only available means to prevent a pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. It offers women an important second chance to prevent pregnancy when a regular method fails, no method was used, or sex was forced. Emergency contraceptive options include several kinds of EC pills (ECPs) as well as insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD). You can learn more about methods of emergency contraception here.
At the meeting, honors were presented to three “EC Champions.” ICEC and ASEC staff were delighted to present the Felicia Stewart Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. James Trussell of Princeton University. This award, which honors the leadership of the late Felicia Stewart, is presented to “an outstanding leader who, through a substantial and prolonged body of work, has changed the face of, access to, and understanding of EC through programs, policy advocacy and/or research.” The Steering Committees of both organizations agreed that Dr. Trussell, a pioneer in the EC world, embodies the spirit of this award. He has published extensively on EC, developed the website www.not-2-late.com, and personally responds to consumer questions about EC that are received through the website. He also created the contraceptive effectiveness chart that is mandated to appear on all birth control labeling in the US.
The Charlotte Ellertson Award, established in honor of the late Charlotte Ellertson and supported by Ibis Reproductive Health, which she founded, was presented to the Venezuela Ministry of Health and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. This award specifically recognizes innovation and goes to an individual or organization that has made a “bold EC move.” The Ministry of Health of Venezuela registered EC as an over-the-counter, non-prescription product with no age restrictions, making Venezuela the only country in the Western Hemisphere to have such unimpeded access to EC. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service spearheaded a nurse-led advance EC provision service over the Christmas holidays and during the London Olympics. The manager of this service, Karen Beechey, and the nurse who ran the program, Tracey Forsyth, attended the EC Jamboree to present on their program and accept the award.
ICEC and ASEC are grateful to all three of these leaders for their impressive work to expand women’s access to EC.
You can learn more about emergency contraception and ICEC’s work to expand access to EC on the ICEC website, and you can join the International Consortium for Emergency Conception by submitting this form.
Keep up with the latest news on EC by following ICEC on Facebook.