The morning-after pill will be posted out to women for free throughout December under a “vulgar” new scheme which has been slammed by critics.
A poster advertising the scheme shows the word ‘sex’ in Christmas-tree lights, and bears the slogan: “Getting ‘turned on’ this Christmas?”
And a dedicated website for the controversial service is entitled santacomes.org.
Josephine Quintavalle, of the ProLife Alliance, has branded the campaign “incredibly vulgar”.
She said: “It trivialises women’s sexuality. This scheme isn’t about making women responsible; it will lead to them exposing themselves to more risks.”
The morning-after pill can cause an early stage abortion. Those behind the scheme have admitted that underage girls are almost certain to get hold of the pills.
BPAS, which stands for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, is encouraging women to stock up ahead of the Christmas party season.
The scheme will see women registering their details online. An applicant will then receive a 15-minute phone consultation which is intended to assess her age and “medical suitability”.
If the woman is deemed suitable the morning-after pill will be issued to her in the post along with a supply of condoms. But a spokesman for the charity has admitted that some children “will not be completely honest about their age”.
Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, said: “When the morning-after pill was first approved for use in the UK, assurances were given that it would be used only in exceptional circumstances and would remain a prescription-only drug under the control of doctors.
“Not only is it now being marketed as a ‘just-in-case’ drug and supplied free of charge, but BPAS’s telephone service will inevitably lead to underage girls lying about their age in order to access it.”
Tracey Forsyth, the charity’s lead contraception nurse, said: “Sometimes women worry that requesting the pill in advance makes it look like you are planning on taking chances.
“In fact the opposite is true – making sure you have a back-up to help prevent an unwanted pregnancy is making sure nothing is left to chance.”