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Emergency Contraception for Christmas?

Emergency Contraception for Christmas?

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, known as bpas, is running a Christmas-themed emergency contraception campaign. Its campaign, using the URL santacomes.org, has the words “sex” written in Christmas lights and asks if you are “Getting ‘turned on’ by Christmas?” According to bpas, there are more women with unplanned pregnancies in January than any other time of the year. They want women to order the morning after pill in advance of the holidays “just in case”, since it can be difficult to get hold of over Christmas.

Below the glowing words “sex” in the campaign posters, the ads read:

He’s hot, he lights you up inside, you can’t switch it off and before you know it, the sparks are flying…

The thing is, we see more women with an unplanned pregnancy in January than any other time of year. We don’t want you to be one of them. Getting hold of a morning after pill over Christmas can be difficult so it’s useful to have it before you need it. bpas is giving away FREE morning after pills in advance throughout December.

The ads have apparently been more successful than intended. The website currently reads: “Due to the popularity of this service we are unable to provide the morning after pill in advance of need before Christmas.” It goes on to provide information on other places that people can get contraception in an emergency.

In addition to being popular, the campaign has also created controversy. Josephine Quintavalle of the ProLife Alliance told the Telegraph that “This scheme isn’t about making women responsible; it will lead to them exposing themselves to more risks.” Because you need to be 16 or older to get the morning after pill without a prescription in the the United Kingdom, there is concern that younger girls will lie about their age to get the pill this way. Critics of the campaign also say that it could “fuel promiscuity and encourage unprotected sex.”

Bpas, on the other hand, says the campaign is essential at a time of year when emergency contraceptives are difficult and expensive to get hold of. Tracey Foresyth, the lead contraception nurse at bpas, told the Telegraph that ordering the morning after pill in advance is the smart thing to do:

Sometimes women worry that requesting the pill in advance makes it look like you are planning on taking chances. In fact the opposite is true making sure you have a back-up to help prevent an unwanted pregnancy is making sure nothing is left to chance.

According to the Telegraph, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley “would prefer the pills be issued after a face-to-face consultation but stopped short of saying he would intervene.”

Last year’s bpas holiday campaign was similarly provocative. Promoting contraception in general and condoms in particular, the ad read: “I’ll have a slow comfortable screw, sex on the beach, a slippery nipple, and a screaming orgasm, please” using a double entendre to refer to both the potential hangover and potential unwanted pregnancy that could result from a night of too many drinks and too much fun.

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42 comments

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1:26PM PST on Jan 11, 2012

Brilliant. We need the same thing in the USA.

12:59PM PST on Jan 3, 2012

The morning after pill is a good thiung but should be used in emergencies, not as an every time thing. There are other forms of birth control that work well.

6:43PM PST on Dec 23, 2011

I think this is ridiculous! Since when did it become so difficult to use a damn condom?!

8:12AM PST on Dec 19, 2011

I just wish young girls had more common sense and more self worth. Sex and boys aren't everything, they don't define self worth and don't equal "love".

11:23AM PST on Dec 18, 2011

The morning pill is very important in the sad cases of rape or in case of problem with a condom. For the other situations, that pill won't protect you from all the other risks of AIDS or STDs!

12:51PM PST on Dec 14, 2011

She's dreaming of a white christmas.

12:49PM PST on Dec 14, 2011

Why a morning after pill of all things? No wait, I'd like to rephrase that question: WHY PUT ALL OF THE RESPONSIBILITY ON THE WOMEN?!?!?!? Why not encourage people to use condoms instead? Then BOTH women and men have the responsibility to make sure they have one, PLUS they don't give bad side-effects AND prevent STDs.

9:12AM PST on Dec 14, 2011

keep abortion and birth control legal

8:35AM PST on Dec 14, 2011

Wish I had time for sex at Christmas...:(

11:03PM PST on Dec 13, 2011

Why can't the US offer practical non-ideologically-driven approaches to social problames related to sex?

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