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Ala. Morning-After Pill Policy Stirs Debate

Alabama recently began requiring all of its state-funded public health clinics to hand out "morning-after pills" (search) to women who are worried they may be pregnant and inform patients of their availability.

Not surprisingly, the decision has been met with controversy in the state, with some Department of Public Health nurses quitting their jobs rather than participating in an effort that goes against their religious beliefs.

Alabama health officials say the initiative, which began in April, is in the public's interest and protects their $5 million in federal family planning grants.

"If emergency contraception were more widely available, more than 4,000 of the 10,000 abortions in Alabama would be prevented," said Dr. Donald Williamson of the Alabama Department of Public Health (search). "It becomes good public policy."

If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, the pill can cut a woman’s chances of pregnancy by up to 89 percent.

Go to the video box at the top of this story to watch a report by Fox News' Jonathan Serrie.