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Morning after pill study irresponsible and unfair to women, says SPUC

8 July 2005

Morning-after pill study "irresponsible and unfair to women", says SPUC Westminster, 8th July 2005 - The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has condemned a new study on the morning-after pill published in the British Medical Journal as "irresponsible and unfair to women". John Smeaton, SPUC national director, said: "The whole study is introduced by a reference to the US Food&Drug Administration (FDA) which decided against over-the-counter morning-after pills in the U.S. "It's ironic that the study should be critical of the FDA decision, claiming that it was political, when this whole paper is clearly politically directed: it ends with another reference to the U.S. arguing that the U.S. should make the morning-after pill available over the counter. "The study published in the BMJ did actually find evidence of increased so-called unsafe sex - it points out that women reported less frequent condom use when the morning-after pill was first made available over the counter. "This does not appear to be a properly conducted study. There is no control group comparing, for example, a group for whom the drug is available over the counter with any other type of group. It's an entirely after-the-event study relying on self-reporting. "It is irresponsible and unfair to women to suggest, on the basis of this study, that over-the-counter morning-after pills have not contributed towards the year by year increase in sexually transmitted diseases. "Advocates of over-the-counter morning-after pills also claim that it's better than allowing unwanted pregnancies to continue. Yet during the 1990s, when there was a five-fold increase in prescriptions of morning-after pills, the overall abortion rate also rose. In 2003, the recorded abortion rate rose to the highest ever. "Provision of the morning-after pill goes against two basic tenets of this government's health philosophy. It fails the test of 'evidence-based medicine' because it has not been shown to reduce unwanted pregnancies. It also fails the test of 'informed choice' because women are being misled about how it works and what it does. Morning-after pills are described as emergency contraception yet they can work in an abortifacient way."

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