- Any woman aged 18 or over
will be able to buy the powerful medication – called
EllaOne – from certain branches of the Co-operative Pharmacy
- But campaigners say that because it can be taken so long after conception it is an early form of abortion
- There are also concerns that it will encourage unprotected sex as women will see it as a ‘safety net’
18:10 EST, 18 October 2012
01:36 EST, 19 October 2012
Controversial: Women can now buy a morning-after pill that works for up to five days after sex – without having to see a GP. This picture is posed by a model
Women can now buy a morning-after pill that works for up to five days after sex – without having to see a GP.
From today, any woman aged 18 or over will for the first time be able to buy the powerful medication – called EllaOne –from certain branches of the Co-operative Pharmacy.
But campaigners say that because it can be taken so long after conception it is an early form of abortion.
There are also concerns that it will encourage unprotected sex as women will see it as a ‘safety net’ – leading to higher rates of promiscuity and sexually transmitted infections.
EllaOne can be taken longer after sex than the conventional morning-after pill – which works for three days – and is up to twice as effective at preventing pregnancies.
Until now it has only been possible to get EllaOne with a prescription from a GP – or from an obscure London-based website which also sells Viagra and weight-loss drugs.
But from today it will be on sale for £30 in some 40 Co-op branches in southern England and Wales in areas with high rates of unwanted pregnancies.
It works by thickening the entrance of the womb, preventing sperm from entering and swimming up to fertilise the egg if taken in the first day or so after sex.
In addition, it changes the womb’s lining, meaning that if the pill is taken up to five days after sex, a fertilised egg cannot implant itself and develop into a foetus.
But Norman Wells, director of the charity Family Education Trust, described it as an early method of abortion, and said there was no evidence that these sorts of pills reduced unwanted pregnancies.
‘Instead, young people in particular have been lulled into a false sense of security, taken a more casual attitude to sex, and become exposed to an increased risk of sexually transmitted infections,’ he added.
Maria Macgregor, of the charity Life, said: ‘Ethical concerns around these kind of pills are often overlooked. One of the ways in which they can work, as the manufacturers themselves say, is by preventing the implantation of an already fertilised embryo.
Powerful: From today, any woman aged 18 or over will for the first time be able to buy the medication – called EllaOne – from certain branches of the Co-operative Pharmacy
‘There is even some evidence that
provision of these pills can actually worsen rates of unplanned
pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
‘This may be due to risk-compensation, when the existence of a perceived safety net encourages less cautious behaviour.’
Jane Devenish, clinical service pharmacist at the Co-operative Pharmacy, said: ‘It is not our place to make a judgment on people’s motives or lifestyles and there can be numerous reasons for seeking medical help.
‘Its use is an emotive subject and we believe that this service will be an important step to offer women access to a wider choice of emergency contraception in a community pharmacy to enable them to make an informed decision.’
Women wanting EllaOne will be questioned by a pharmacist to check their age, and that they aren’t already pregnant or on any medication which could cause complications.
If pharmacists think someone is under 18 – and they cannot provide ID to prove otherwise – they will be refused the pill, as it has not been properly tested in younger women.
Side-effects include nausea, vomiting, headaches, mood swings and back pain, similar to the conventional morning-after pill.
Studies have shown that 0.91 per cent of women who took EllaOne became pregnant, compared with 1.68 per cent of those who took the conventional morning-after pill.
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mimi, uk, you’re wrong. Check your medical facts or better still ask your doctor. Pregnancy DOES NOT start then.
WordGirl are you serious?? sounds to be that you need a pill to get rid of him. I think you’re probably worth a lot more. – Wee Caz, Sealand, United Kingdom, 19/10/2012 11:05 hopefully no woman is really that desperate to be staying with a man like that.
Don’t worry – I divorced him years ago! No, I wasn’t desperate…but when a man gets under your skin and starts to control you, he can make you think you’re not worth any better. Thankfully, I decided enough was enough!
Suffolk, United Kingdom,
I listened to a Radio programme concerning teh Maie Stopes Clinic which has opened in Belfast.
The Religious lunatics standing outside singing songs and saying that the Clinic was the Devils work etc was mindboggling and all this in 2012 not 1952.
A pill that will enable women not to have unwanted pregnacies is a good thing for womens health.
By the way, you will note that those against this and the Stopes Clinic are in the majority men and as a man, I am often amazed that other men don’t see that women should comment on womens reproductive health etc , not a bunch of blokes or Priests.
London, United Kingdom,
‘The Promiscuity Pill’ — the DM’s watch is about 60 years slow.
Anything that reduces population rise is a good thing. Not that this will make much difference. If the stork doesn’t bring new people Eurostar will.
Why does no one care about getting STIs? im 25 and not an angel but i have NEVER and would NEVER put myslef at risk by sleeping with a random person with using a condom! these pills are great for emergencys, but people should be more worried about catching something too!
- zoe , london, 19/10/2012 11:01
Not everyone who uses the pill does so because they’re promiscuous, in fact its usually people in relationships!
London, United Kingdom,
is this satire???????
WHERE IS THE MAN’S RESPONSIBILITY IN ALL THIS? IS HE NOT ABLE TO USE CONTRACEPTION OR SOMETHING? WHY IS IT ALWAYS THE WOMAN WHO IS BEING LECTURED AT DAY IN AND DAY OUT?PERHAPS IF MEN WERE EDUCATED MORE FROM A YOUNG AGE TO BE MORE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR SEXUAL LIASONS THERE WOULD NOT BE SO MANY UNWANTED PREGNANCIES. TEACH HIM TO KEEP HIS LEGS CLOSED FOR A CHANGE. IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO.
Belfast, United Kingdom,
I doubt this will change behaviour that much. Are there really women who before would have thought 3 days wasn’t enough time to take emergency contraceptives and avoided promiscuous activity, but now that there’s a pill they could take within 5 days it’s no problem?
Shouldn’t the headline read “5 days after” instead of “morning after”?
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