Pregnancy Risk Evaluation and Care

Examiners should provide information to patients regarding the risk of pregnancy. A pregnancy test should be conducted (with patient consent) with all patients of childbearing age to establish the patient’s present status.
Pregnancy prophylaxis, also known as Emergency Contraception (EC) should be discussed as a treatment option. Taking EC after a sexual assault decreases a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant.

EC pills should be started as soon as possible after the sexual assault at the facility.

  • The sooner a woman takes EC pills after a sexual assault, the more effective it is.
  • EC pills are most effective when taken in the first 12 hours.
  • The FDA has approved EC pills to be initiated up to 72 hours (3 days).
  • Recent research has shown EC pills initiated up to 120 hours are effective.

As of October 1, 2007, in accordance with Public Act 07-24 An Act Concerning Compassionate Care for Victims of Sexual Assault (See Appendix A) the standard of care for each licensed health care facility that provides emergency treatment to a victim of sexual assault shall promptly include:

  • Providing each victim of sexual assault with medically and factually accurate and objective information relating to emergency contraception;
  • Informing such victim of sexual assault of the availability of emergency contraception, its use and efficacy;
  • Providing emergency contraception to such victim of sexual assault at the facility upon the request of such victim, except that a licensed health care facility shall not be required to provide emergency contraception to a victim of sexual assault who has been determined to be pregnant through the administration of a pregnancy test approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, and;
  • No licensed health care facility that provides emergency treatment to a victims of sexual assault shall determine such facility’s protocol for complying with the standard of care requirements on any basis other than a pregnancy test approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.