Women in Britain can go the whole hog with the Christmas festivities as the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) has announced that it will offer free emergency contraceptives during the Christmas and New Year holidays. BPAS is the country’s leading abortion agency which is concerned about the rise of unplanned pregnancies in January.
The reason behind this initiative is not only the increase in festivity at this time of the year but also the fact that most pharmacies are closed. This makes getting hold of the emergency pill much more difficult and hence the women are left to chance with regards to preventing pregnancy.
BPAS is allowing women to request for the emergency pill in advance. This pill can work even 72 hours after unprotected sex but is most effective if taken within 12 hours. In the new service that is available through BPAS, the women also have the option of receiving a pack but only after a 15-minute consultation with a nurse. This pack would include a condom and some instructions in what has been termed “advice literature”.
According to the chief executive of BPAS, Ann Furedi, women are inclined to not take the emergency pill after a night of festivities. They may persuade themselves to believe that the chance of getting pregnant is not high, or the high prices of the emergency contraceptive can put them off. That is why they have come up with this offer as if the woman are able to get the pill for free just by making a phone call, it would encourage them to take one.
This initiative has also had some cynics such as anti-abortion charity Life who claim that such a service would encourage risky sexual behaviour. Their argument against such a service is that if the women are encouraged to take the emergency pill, it would prompt them to have more of unprotected sex in the long run, than they would under normal circumstances. This is particularly pertinent during festive season when the alcohol consumption is at an all-year high. The rates of abortion in UK have increased by 8 percent since 2000.
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