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Florence M. Kelley ’37 Family Law Prize Paper. D. NeJaime, J. K. Peters, V. Schultz To the student who demonstrates exceptional interest or achievement in the area of family law


Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that the public understanding of Plan B and other emergency contraceptives as “abortifacient,” or abortion-inducing, is incorrect. The FDA, the federal courts, and the executive branch compound and entrench this misunderstanding by using it as a foundation for contraceptive law and policy. This Note traces the development and consequences of this collective error. Critically, our misunderstanding has blurred the distinction between contraception and abortion, shifting contraception into the morally-contested space that abortion occupies. Failure to reckon with the reality of contraception science has shaped women’s access to reproductive care, contraceptive stigma, the culture wars, and law.

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