Lousy morning after



A NEW study of young U.S. urban women found that easier access to the morning-after pill failed to reduce rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. In the study, 2,117 women aged 15 to 24 in two cities in the San Francisco Bay area were given three different degrees of accessibility to morning-after pills.

The first group of women were instructed to get emergency contraception directly from pharmacists without a prescription. The second group was provided with three doses of emergency contraception in advance. The third group was assigned to get the drug by going through a clinic when needed.

The study was limited to women who said they intended to avoid pregnancy during the trial, but 8% of women in each group became pregnant.

Forty per cent of women in each group reported having sex at least once without protection.

Researchers concluded easier access to emergency contraceptives failed to cut pregnancy rates. As well, STD rates were the same at the end of the six-month study, whether or not the women had easier access to the morning-after pill. About 12% of the women in each group became infected with STDs like herpes or chlamydia.

“We were surprised by the lack of difference in pregnancy rates between the groups … the emergency contraception had no apparent impact,” said lead author Dr. Tina Raine, a University of California San Francisco professor.

Raine said those who could get emergency contraception directly from pharmacies were no more likely to use it than women who were assigned to the clinic-access group.

Only slightly more than half of the women who had a personal supply of the emergency contraceptive actually used it over the study period, which explains a pregnancy rate similar to the other two groups.

“This data shows us we’re still not influencing young women to take fewer risks in their sexual behaviour,” Raine said. The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


first, the disclaimer that this is obviously a small study, and not exactly nation-wide…


My Lord… forty years ago we discovered birth control and it freed us from the shackles of unwanted pregnancies, for the most part – we, unlike our mothers, weren’t tied down with the monthly fear of pregnancy and marched forward to claim careers and freedom. It was a Good Thing.

Sure, there were accidents – and there still are, since pretty well no method is fool-proof. That is, except for not shagging the guy in the first place, and it seems that some of our brethern are still caught back in the Stone Age, where if the guy on the bar stool next to you or the one wagging his tail in the nightclub winks at you three times, you’ll roll him without a care in the world.

So we ranted and raved and demanded all this contraceptive devices (of course, not as quickly created and marketed as Viagra, doncha know) and declared our sexual freedom. Freedom, it seems, to act like rabid animals and not have a second thought about having casual sex or worrying a whit about the consequences.

Because, as me mom once said – there’s worse things than being pregnant.

In the seventies AIDS terrified a lot of us into being more careful; keeping an eye on the guy for more than a few minutes before flopping into bed with him. You’d think that between that and the ever-present STD’s that we women would have learnt a few things over the decades.

But this study seems to show that we are, at heart, as bad as the men. Or worse, since we’re the ones who burst forth with unwanted pregnancies and have to find abortion clinics to allay our fears or praise the gods of penicillin to save us from ourselves.

Forty years and we’re just as dumb as ever. If not more, given that we have all these options and choose to roll those dice irregardless. Except for those nagging little consequences called children.

Baby, you’ve come a long way.

Too bad it’s been in a circle.

’nuff said. Peas, out.


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