The Christian Institute

News Release

It’s reckless to legalise sale of morning after pill

The Government wants the morning after pill to be made available as never before. Health Ministers want to legalise the sale of the morning after pill from chemist’s shops. Just before the House of Lords votes on the proposal next Monday a new report challenges the wisdom of the move.

Until now the drug has been available only on prescription. The report published today by The Christian Institute says young women will be better protected if the law stays as it is.

The Government also comes in for criticism for its policy of encouraging school nurses to distribute the morning after pill for free to girls under the age of 16 without their parents’ consent.


The report argues that the Government’s initiative will lead to more unsafe sex and promiscuous behaviour amongst the young. This is particularly dangerous with the unprecedented number of cases of infection by sexually transmitted diseases.

Use of the morning after pill can lead to an ectopic pregnancy and there have been no long term studies on repeated use.

The report highlights the fact that the abortion rate has continued to increase even though ’emergency contraception’ has been available through GPs for over ten years.

The report argues that Government’s plan has many serious medical pitfalls:

  • GPs will be completely unaware of how many times their women patients have taken the morning after pill. Information crucial to medical treatment decisions will be simply absent from the medical record.
  • Conversely, since the morning after pill will not be on prescription, pharmacists will have no access to the GP.
  • It will be a simple matter for girls under 16 to buy the pill. They may use the kind of fake ID which is so easily available. Some pharmacists will simply not bother to check. There are already documented cases of this.
  • A lengthy counselling procedure is hopelessly impractical for a busy chemist.
    1. Girls wanting to use the morning after pill as a regular contraceptive can simply go round different chemists to stock up. Many boyfriends are only too willing to pay. Some clinics are already selling the pill for £10.
    2. Colin Hart, co-author of the report, said today

      “It is reckless to legalise the sale of the morning after pill. Within days of chemists being given the go-ahead, under 16s showed they had no difficulty in buying it. There are serious issues of patient health. The Government is being completely naive. Its policy will send a powerful signal to young people that “unsafe sex is OK, just take a pill.”

      The House of Lords has the opportunity to quash the Government’s proposal on Monday. I hope it does.”