Women's Health Base

A look at women, the world and the web

Twas the morning after Christmas…

Posted by hannahflynn on December 26, 2008

Groggily waking up on Boxing day, our minds are cast back to the day of indulgence before. But it’s not just greed that may have overcome us over the Christmas season. If we look at the abortion stats for last year, our overweight, clap-ridden nation has spent the season of giving getting, well…pregnant.

A month ago it was announced by the British Pregnancy Advisory Committee the morning-after-pill should be given to women before the Christmas and new year period to ensure it was available when pharmacies and surgeries are closed. The announcement caused the usual furore amongst conservative types who insisted it would encourage promiscuity. My favourite being the complaints over the advertisement for it.

Then, just a few days before Christmas, Obama’s own state has seen a ruling passed that allows pharmacists who’s beliefs prevent them from dispensing the morning-after-pill (in the United States ‘Plan B’) to be exempt from providing it. Draughted in just weeks before Bush must step down, the decision is expected to be blocked by the Obama administration, but the supreme court ruling does pose a few questions for the incoming scientifically literate administration.

One of those questions is the far broader question of just how effective is the morning-after-pill? Many are looking at the way it is currently used and are saying, not very.

Use of the morning-after-pill has increased greatly over the past couple of years, but abortion rates have gone up. The BMJ reported just over a year ago this was because women were unaware of when they were at risk of pregnancy. This was also the case when women had supplies of emergency contraception at home and so opening times of surgeries and  pharmacies were not a limiting factor. Anna Glasier who wrote in the BMJ said, “If you are looking for an intervention that will reduce abortion rates, emergency contraception may not be the solution and perhaps you should concentrate most on encouraging people to use contraception before or during sex, not after it.”

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One Response to “Twas the morning after Christmas…”

  1. […] opposition has been venomous since the 11th hour amendment was announced last month, seen by many as a last, unwelcome push by the on-the-way-out Bush […]

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