Although it has been several months since the Food and Drug Administration approved the prescription of Morning After Pills, a federal mandate has stirred controversy and ultimately lead to the resignation of two State Health Department nurses, Lenita Ackles and Linda Bell, from their posts.
The federal government currently mandates that all agencies and clinics receiving federal funds distribute MAPs.
MAPs are considered to be emergency contraceptives and are primarily used in the event of unprotected sexual intercourse, when a condom breaks or after a sexual assault.
Pills are available by prescription. The pills induce a menstrual period within two weeks of taking the dosage. During the cycle, the pill flushes the egg, which may already be fertilized, and prevents implantation.
Lenita Ackles, former Alabama Department of Public Health nursing supervisor for Calhoun, resigned on March 19 from her post after 13 years.
Ackles said she was pressured into prescribing the pills.
"I asked them what choices I had and they told me that I would either have to write up the other people who refused to prescribe the pills or be written up myself," Ackles said. "I didn’t want to be written up, so I resigned."