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Should the morning after pill be sold over the counter (to anyone over the age of 16) like ordinary medicines?

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1454 words. Heather Dickens 12B Should the morning after pill be sold over the counter (to anyone over the age of 16) like ordinary medicines? The morning after pill is a form of emergency contraception. It is a high dosage of the pill, which can be taken up to 72 hours after sexual intercourse at present it is around 74% effective. It can be given as progesterone alone, oestrogen alone or both of these combined. When taken if the woman is pregnant this would kill her unborn child. They work by either inhibiting ovulation, so the egg will not be released. Altering the normal menstrual cycle so that ovulation is delayed or by imitating the lining of the uterus, this means the baby will die before it attaches to the lining of the uterus. However, like with everything there are side effects, these include vomiting, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, breast tenderness and even blood clot formation. They also offer no protection against STD's or STI's. People view the use of the morning after pill in different ways; some believe that it is unethical because it is killing a life. Others believe that it can be justified because it is better to kill a life than to bring a child up in an environment where it is unwanted. In this essay I am going to investigate the positives and negatives of selling the morning after pill over the counter to anyone who asks for it (over the age of 16). ...read more.


(ref 6), so making it available over the counter should not cause any problems. Ann Furedi of the 'British Pregnancy Advisory service' believes that "...women should be allowed to benefit from modern sciences of contraception." Therefore it would be a great help if women had easy access to 'modern science technology' so that we could move with the times and accept that science can be used to benefit people. Another argument against the legalisation of emergency contraception being sold over the counter is that pharmacists cannot check medical records. A doctor could easily check a woman's state of health and medical history that would show if they had anything which might make taking morning after pills dangerous. For example people with a family history of thrombosis, high blood pressure, strokes, focal migraine and hereditary blood cholesterol should not take the morning after pill (see ref 7). Similarly it would be hard for pharmacists to tell if a girl is under 16. This point is backed up by Brook's figures which show for 1994-95 more than 7,000 of their clients were under 16, and nearly 2,500 were given the morning after pill (ref 7). The MCFL (Massachusetts Citizens For Life) argues that the "Morning After Pill would be passed out like antacids" as there is also no limit on how often the pills can be used; consequently some women could be taking high-dose hormones regularly. ...read more.


From comparing and contrasting the information I gathered from various sources I have came up with a conclusion. I think that women and girls will benefit from the morning after pill being sold 'over the counter'. I have this view because I think that it is important that children are not brought up in an environment where they are unwanted or where they are not given all of the attention they deserve. I also think that it prevents unwanted abortions during the later stages of pregnancy, not only is this better for the mothers emotions it is also better for the NHS as they will have to deal with less abortion cases. However, even though I do agree with selling emergency contraception over the counter I think that there should be tighter regulations on it. It is hard to find out if the woman taking the pill has any medical conditions so I think to try and overcome this problem all women and girls who ask for the morning after pill should be told about any dangers and how it works. The government could also incorporate a program into teenager's sex education lessons to give them more information on emergency contraception, how it works (i.e. killing a foetus) and what to in an emergency. Thus, enabling women and girls to make an appropriate decision from the beginning. ...read more.

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