If sex wasn’t so much fun, we probably would have died out as a species, barring some sort of mating cycle. Yet some people and organisations are determined to stick their oar into other peoples morals and determine other peoples choices and lifestyles. This is a typical example of a Daily Mail ‘scare’ story, but the facts about the product are accurate enough.
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.
As to whether or not it will increase promiscuity, God alone knows, though I have my doubts, still that’s the tack that those who oppose the product are apparently going to take, along with the ‘abortion’ argument. Morality is a pretty tough minefield to wander into, one persons morals do not necessarily apply to the person standing next to you, nor indeed should they unless it directly affects them in the form of a direct compulsion to partake. No, you do not have the right not to be offended, you have the right to ignore, you have the right to protest, but you should not have the right to stop another’s moral choices, unless they directly inflict on you or harm unwilling others.
Before the advent of ‘easy’ contraception, religion was essentially the tool used to prevent unwanted children being foisted onto society outside of marriage, not that these children didn’t happen along (people being people) but due to the shame factor for allowing it to happen. Religion was the tool to help men be sure that the children they were bringing up were essentially their own too, (again the previous caveats apply) and to an extent they worked to keep women in line, for yes, that is the gender they were aimed at, women produced the babies after all.
The first contraceptive pills changed that putting control of the breeding cycle into the hands of the woman and everything changed. Suddenly it was discovered (for certain values of suddenly) that women enjoyed sex just as much if not more than men and with the risks of spurious pregnancy removed would take risks they never would have in the past. Promiscuity abounded so to speak and with it came a few side effects such as STD’s and abortions from those actions, very much a prime example of cause and effect.
Essentially though this is something society is going to have to deal with, not religion and not pressure groups opposed to abortion and scare stories won’t stop people having sex either. Going back to the old days is possible, but that’s for future generations, I doubt that many would change now save under extreme duress (yes we’re looking at you Islam) and this pill is the natural result of the last 50 years or so social change.
In the end it all comes down to personal choice, the groups that oppose this pill are trying to deny it to all women in the same way some would deny abortions or even the ability to go out and work. Yet these people are generally not the ones who live with the consequences.
This is something society as a whole is going to have to work out, banning something won’t stop unwanted pregnancies nor does a nice morality fit all. In the end the choices should be personal, yet far too many are prepared to interfere and intervene.
Change will happen when society is ready for it, not before and enforcing someone else’s morality on the unwilling simply won’t work, not any more…