Women who binge drink are more likely to have an abortion or take the morning-after pill, according to new research.
Research by University College London has revealed that binge-drinking women were 40 per cent more likely to have had at least one abortion over the past year.
The study also revealed that women who drink more than the recommended weekly limit, roughly equivalent to 7 glasses of wine, were 80 per cent more likely to have used the morning-after pill (MAP) in the past year.
Critics blamed binge drinking for fuelling an increase in the use of the MAP which can cause an early stage abortion.
Dr Sarah Jarvis, of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: “We have known for years that excessive alcohol use is linked to unprotected sex which can increase the risk of catching sexually transmitted infections.
“I have seen an increase in patients at my surgery with alcohol problems and from young women requiring emergency contraception over the last few years.”
And Norman Wells, Director of the Family Education Trust, said: “These findings reinforce the fact that parents can never afford to take a casual, laid-back approach to alcohol.
“It is important that they set an example of moderation in their own drinking habits and exercise control over their children’s exposure to alcohol.
“The importance of a stable family background and responsible parenting can never be overstated.”
The number of young girls who blame drunkenness for the loss of their virginity has more than doubled in the past 60 years.
In the 1940’s this figure stood at 2.4 per cent but today this figure has risen to 6.4 per cent.
The new research, which was published in the Journal of Public Health, was based on a ten year study which examined the drinking habits and sexual activity of almost 25,000 people between the ages of 16 and 44.
Last month Theresa May, the Home Secretary, warned that Labour’s 24-hour drinking laws had failed.
Mrs May’s comments came as the Home Office announced a consultation to give communities a greater say over alcohol licences.
Fines for those who persistently sell booze to children would be doubled to £20,000 under the proposals.
And councils could be given powers to charge more for late-night licences. The Government says this would help pay for more policing.
Earlier in July it was revealed that 83 per cent of people aged 18 to 24 could be classified as regular binge drinkers.
The study, carried out by market research company Mintel, used the NHS definition for binge drinking of six units in one session for women and eight units in one session for men.
It was found that one in five young women were drinking more than 20 units on a typical night out, which is equivalent to more than two bottles or ten glasses of wine.