Sacramento County Campaign Publicizes Emergency Contraception
On Tuesday, the not-for-profit health communications organization
Population Services International launched a $75,000 media campaign in Sacramento County aimed at educating women about their options for emergency contraception, the Sacramento Bee reports. The campaign will feature radio ads on local stations "popular with young women," as well as posters and wallet cards -- produced in both Spanish and English -- that will be distributed by health care providers. To learn more about the target audience, the organization "did in-depth interviews and focus groups with 70 Sacramento women, and found that even those who had heard of emergency contraception pills lacked basic knowledge about them," PSI Project Manager Lorrie Harris-Sagaribay said. Women interviewed did not know where to go to receive the pills and were also unaware that they must be taken within 72 hours of intercourse. In addition, women who spoke only Spanish "were even less likely to be aware of emergency contraception," Harris-Sagaribay said. PSI chose Sacramento County as the site for the campaign because of the "enthusiastic response" the organization received from the area's health providers, who "felt lack of awareness about emergency contraception was a problem among women," Harris-Sagaribay said. In a complementary campaign, PSI teamed up with the Pacific Institute for Women's Health to train more than 100 providers and community organizations about emergency contraception. The organization also aims to help women distinguish between emergency contraception and mifepristone, but realizes that some people "define pregnancy differently." "[W]e encourage women to talk to their doctors about how emergency contraception works, so they can make a decision according to their own beliefs," Harris-Sagaribay said. Last year in Sacramento County, 2,028 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 became pregnant, while 36 pregnancies occurred among girls ages 12 to 14 (Chavez, Sacramento Bee, 11/15).