As many as 11 percent, or 5.8 million, of American women ages 15 to 44 have used emergency contraception, according to a federal report released Thursday. In the first federal study of emergency contraception since the so-called morning-after pill was approved in 1998, the National Center for Health Statistics said it conducted the survey of 12,279 women between 2006 and 2010. Half of the women who used the morning-after pill said they did so because they feared their birth-control method had failed, while the rest said they had unprotected sex. Among women 20 to 24, 23 percent had used emergency contraception, while just 5 percent of women ages 30 to 44 had used it—although researchers said that low percentage could have do with the contraceptive not being on the market during those women's young reproductive years.
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