‘No plans’ to remove morning-after pill consultations

Calls to remove consultations before women receive the morning-after pill have been rejected by the Government.

The head of Britain’s largest abortion provider, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) had called for an end to consultations, saying they are “unnecessary” and “embarrassing”.

But the Department of Health said the Government has “no plans to change the system”.

‘Real danger’

At present, the morning-after pill can only be bought from chemists after women have undergone a consultation with a pharmacist.

Responding to the calls to drop consultations, Norman Wells, from the Family Education Trust, said: “With no questions asked about previous medical history or previous use of the drug, there is a very real danger that it could be misused or overused.”

He added: “The health risks to women who use the morning-after pill repeatedly over a period of time are not known.”

‘No plans’

A Department of Health spokesman said: “We are clear it is only for use in emergencies and we have no plans to change the system.”

Currently, there are two morning-after pill choices, Levonelle and ellaOne.

Levonelle needs to be taken within three days with the timeframe for ellaOne being five days.

EllaOne was launched in 2009, which resulted in heavy criticism from pro-life and family values groups who warned that the drug encourages people to engage in casual sex whilst exposing themselves to sexually transmitted diseases.

‘Damaging social effect’

Norman Wells said at the time: “International research evidence shows that making the morning-after pill more readily available doesn’t make the slightest difference to unintended pregnancy and abortion rates.

“The easy availability of the morning-after pill has a damaging social effect, by lulling young people in particular into a false sense of security, encouraging a more casual attitude to sex, and exposing them to increased risk of sexually transmitted infections.”

His concerns were echoed by Margaret Morrissey, of the campaign group Parents Outloud, who said: “We should be persuading young people not to indulge in sexual relationships. There is already enormous pressure on young girls to have sex and now this pill just adds to it.”

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