PECHENY Mario Martin
congresos y reuniones científicas
“Post-Coital” Contraception? Counter-Intuitions and Practices in a Grey Zone: How Misinformation and Stigma related to Abortion Hinders the Access to Emergency Contraception in Argentina
Hanoi, Vietnam
Congreso; VII International Conference:Contested Innocence – Sexual Agency in Public and Private Space; 2009
Institución organizadora:
International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society
The purpose of emergency contraception (EC) is to prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortion, but in Argentina it is not widely used, nor has the health system provided adequate information on EC. The objectives of this study were to describe users’, potential users’ and professionals’ knowledge of and experiences with EC; to detect and describe the impact of religious, ethical, and political-ideological conceptions on the accessibility of EC; and to describe institutional accessibility of EC.  A national survey (1219 women and men, 15-50 years of age) and 54 semi-structured interviews (women and men with and without experience with EC, health professionals) were conducted in September-October 2007 in Buenos Aires, Mendoza and San Juan. Some barriers are common to EC and other contraception methods, while some are specific to how EC is used, its legal status and accessibility and, the confusion between EC and (illegal) abortion. Barriers are present across all social segments studied, but are experienced differently according to gender, age, education, and socioeconomic status. The idea of contraception after sexual intercourse is counter-intuitive for many people. Users and providers cannot distinguish clearly between traditional contraceptives, EC, and abortive methods. Examination of contraceptive "emergencies" also allowed us to critically re-examine the practice of heterosexualities. The study demonstrated the need to inform the population and the health sector on EC, its usage and accessibility, and the “grey zones” that hinder the adequate distinction between traditional contraception, EC, and abortion.