The ideal gift this Christmas: The Morning After Pill?

6 Dec

Over the festive season, what is it likely you will be doing?

Relaxing?

Spending time with family and friends?

Eating too much?

Getting merry?

Or perhaps having unprotected sex?

 The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) who have been key in providing help and support to women who are enduring an unplanned pregnancy or a pregnancy that they are not wanting to continue with,  today revealed a new scheme which will be involve the Morning After Pill becoming available at the touch of a telephone keypad.

The scheme comes in the wake of the Christmas period which apparently should see a lot of chemists and pharmacies being closed and therefore it is believed that this scheme outlined below will prevent a lot of unwanted pregnancies over the Christmas period. It is not however merely a case of wanting the Morning After Pill straight after having unprotected sex though, but also a case of pre-empting that you will be having unprotected sex and ‘stocking up’ on the pill to ensure you can prevent an unwanted pregnancy.

Women will simply be able to fill out a form on www.santacomes.org (which I think in itself gives the completely wrong impression, and is possibly targeting the very age group which BPAS state they will be able to dwindle out of the next stage!) which will also give them the capability to state a time in which they would like to be contacted privately and confidentially by a qualified nurse. This will then be followed up by a phone call which will involve a fifteen minute consultation which will not only assess the age of the patient but also ensure that the pill is not being requested for immediate use. These women after passing the consultation phase will then be sent out the pill together with condoms and advice leaflets. The media have also been assured by BPAS that all Nurses are trained to spot under 16’s in the process.

How the qualifications of a nurse enables them to tell whether someone is lying or not I will never know, but if they are able to do this, I’d say that they are possibly wasted in nursing and should perhaps get a job working for MI5 as a human lie detector? Just a suggestion.

This scheme hasn’t come without its criticisms, and I don’t just mean by myself, even the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley has gone as far as to say that he would prefer the pill to be distributed via a face to face consultation, however he has not gone as far as to intervene in the soon to be implemented system. A spokesman for the Pro-Life charity even likened the scheme to ordering a pizza, simply because it is just as simple as doing so.

The very fact that this drug was initially approved for use in the UK simply for its ‘emergency’ status as a ‘prescription only drug’ now suggests that its uses are being abused and this scheme is one of the tools encouraging its abuse.

Whilst the caller may be over 16 years of age, who is to oversee that she won’t sell it on to someone under that age? Ultimately there are no consequences in place for anyone that chooses to do such a thing, so what is to stop them? The very fact that the pill is distributed after a telephone call and there is no face to face contact makes lying easier, makes the act of lying not seem so erroneous and also doesn’t address any issues which led up to this woman (or girl) taking the Morning After Pill.

Whilst this post could go on about the potential consequences of such a scheme, I believe the real attention needs to be drawn toward the marketing. Whilst BPAS maintain that this system is not for the use of anyone under the age of 16 years old, why then is their marketing so immature? I drew attention to one of the aspects of the marketing that concerned me above; the website name which one can draw many connotations from. Whilst Santa may be associated with Christmas there are many other things BPAS could have chosen, one of which did not have to be a make-believe man who most children still believe in for the magic of Christmas. Okay it’s funny and it may grab the right attention, but it also may grab the wrong attention.

Secondly, the poster which is described as including the word ‘sex’ in Christmas lights and the slogan, ‘Getting turned on this Christmas?’ A poster which I believe appears to be advertising sex, more so than the actual protection issue.

Missing the point is something I believe we are all doing here. At what point did preventing a pregnancy become more important than protecting our health? Condoms should be being pushed far more than this Pill which seems to be being sold as some sort of miracle cure against the ‘illness’ of pregnancy. A motion which can be dealt with far easier than HIV or AIDS (and I am not advocating abortion either.)

Ultimately this proposal has been designed to encourage women to ‘stock up’ on the pill over the Christmas vacation, if this is the case, why instead aren’t we just encouraging more women or girls to ‘stock up’ on condoms. Gosh, we could even use the slogan: ‘Santa’s stocking up, so why aren’t you?’ If we’re going down the immature route of course…

There are so many naive and ill-informed young girls out there, implementing such a scheme surely could only cause more harm than good, especially when it is being advocated that the worst thing that could potentially come from sexual intercourse is a baby. Whether it’s a method designed for ‘stocking up’ or for the over 16’s there will be plenty who will use this scheme as an emergency simply because they are either too young to get the pill from a chemist by themselves or because it is less intrusive, there will also be plenty who will use the scheme because they are far too young to be having sex and don’t want to be found out.

Isn’t it time we started implementing the importance of prevention rather than treatment?

N

Source(s):  The Daily Telegraph, BBC News

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