37 Years Later: On Roe v. Wade, Emergency Contraception, & Princeton’s Office of Population Research

Rep. Albert Wynn and Planned Parenthood President Gloria Feldt rallying on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade (SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org)

Rep. Albert Wynn and Planned Parenthood President Gloria Feldt rallying on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade (SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org)

So unless you’re a virtual Rolodex of historical dates, Supreme Court decisions, or sexual health statistics (any of which would be commendable and—in the true Princeton spirit—somewhat marketable personality traits), the thought of January 22 most likely conjures up nothing more than that warm glow in the bottom of your belly that accompanies the end of the final exam period.

But January 22 holds significance that extends far beyond that infamous orange bubble. January 22 is about abortion.

Participants in the 2009 March for Life (SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AntiObamaBiden.jpg)

Participants in the 2009 March for Life (SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org)

As we reached the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade this week–and watched the pro-life, pro-choice, and the annual March for Life rallies in DC–something was just a little bit different this year. This year, after all, is the year of health care reform and of fears (or hopes) that the conservative high court may overturn the landmark 1976 case–that the strides made by women may be slipping away.

But here at Princeton, a voice rises above all of this. In 1994, Dr. James Trussel, Princeton’s current Director of the Office of Population Research, began The Emergency Contraception Website, a site free from pharmaceutical or for-profit affiliation that’s designed to provide a comprehensive and clinical examination of emergency contraception (EC) options and providers both in the United States and abroad. The site has grown, and in 1996, a corresponding hotline was introduced (1-888-NOT-2-LATE). Although this resource has expanded tremendously–now offering personal stories, FAQ’s about emergency contraception, and information for providers–it remains under the auspices of Princeton’s Office of Population Research and the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals.

More on abortion and EC after the jump.

The Emergency Contraception Website certainly does not take a side in the pro-choice/pro-life debate, nor does it seek to advocate one emergency contraception option over another. It merely presents the facts as they stand, serving as a resource for women faced with the morning-after conundrum. Through the dissemination of this information, the site’s supporters hope that the website will preclude the need for–not encourage–abortion.

So while the abortion debate continues to rage, it seems that all of us should be able to tip our hats to Professor Trussel, if not for his views on abortion, then for his understanding of and strength of conviction about the importance of effective contraception and truthful, comprehensible information about it. This student clearly agreed with that sentiment:

EC texts from last night

And if you can’t engage in hat-tipping for that, then, well, perhaps you can simply for the fact that he’s at Princeton.