Saturday, November 15, 2008

Will STDs rise as pregnancy falls?

I must admit I was rather amused yestedray evening when I was on a bus in the London Borough of Greenwich. There were adverts all along the inside of the bus advising that the Council was now offering free "emergency contraception" to anyone under the age of 21.

It amused me for a number of reasons. Firstly, Greenwioch has some of the worst teenage pregnancy rates in the country. Clearly the Labour-controlled Council has given up on trying to educate the stupid and has gone for the next step along.

So, instead of promoting the use of a condom they've just decided far easier to let the girls of the borough know that they can get their rocks off when they want and all they have to do is pop along to Boots in the morning.

It will be interesting to see whether the rate of teengage pregnancy falls as a result whilst the rate of sexually transmitted diseases increases as even more people start having unproitected sex.

The other thing that amused was a semantic point about the phrase "emergency contraception". Contraception is clearly about contra (contrary) ception (conception). In other words it is about the prevention of conception.

The morning-after pill however is not about preventing conception. It works by getting rid of a conceived egg and sperm. It's not contraception at all. I should stress here I'm not saying I disagree with it's use. More that it isn't really contraception, and calling it such gives a bit of a dodgy impression.


Windsor Tripehound said...

It's not contraception at all

How about pre-emptive abortion? Which it is, of course.

My understanding is that the so-called "morning after pill" is not quite the harmless procedure it's presented as being, but rather a severe and potentially damaging shock to the system. I'd be glad if someone medically qualified would comment on this.

Anonymous said...

Dizzy, your contention is not entirely correct. Conception can occur up to 72 hours after sperm is introduced to the uterus. All the morning after pill does is induce menstruation thus killing off any remaining spermatazoa and preventing any fertilised embryo from attaching itself to the uterine wall.

Anonymous said...

My God, for a moment I thought I'd dropped off again and woken up in the middle of Private Eye's Pendants' Corner (note the meticulous positioning of the apostrophes).

2345 said...

The benefits available to teenage single parents makes it an attractive 'career' path. Flats were built to accommodate them in our area.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Yeah, as Henry says, I'm afraid that you're wrong, Diz: it is a method of contraception and not an abortifacient.


Anonymous said...

Which is also how the 'ordinary' pill and IUDs work - by preventing implantation. Pro-lifers who believe that sacred 'life' begins at conception, and identify fertilisation and conception, as most of them seem to, don't often seem to face this one. Pace crun, an egg is fertilised. An embryo is the result after at least some cell-division.

................................. said...

They should advertise free next-day abortions, see what the take-up is like.

Machiavelli is in favour of abortion, next-day or traditional. He'd rather see it done in a clinic than in the back-streets by some illegal immigrant with a wire coat hanger and a bottle of TCP. In fact, for those too stupid or feckless to raise their own children (and yes, that includes paying for your own sprogs and not making me pay more tax to give free hand-outs) Machiavelli is in favour of post-natal abortion too.

Anonymous said...

So "getting rid of a conceived sperm and egg", then?

Anonymous said...

Morning-after pills are really abortifacients.

But using the "a-word" is too blunt and therefore unacceptable.

btw the only way to reduce the rate of teenage pregnancy is to stop giving them free houses or flats as a reward for getting pregnant; incentives do matter, you know.

The best solution would be to say yes, we will give you extra benefits to support the child but the money will go to your mother, ie the new baby's grandmother. And the money will stop if you leave home.

Problem solved.

dizzy said...

I would just like to make clear here that I am (a) not anti-abortion and (b) happy to stand corrected on the point about MAP. My concern, as the title makes clear, si the unintended consequence of the policy.

Anonymous said...

Peter, by your comment are we to deduce that you consider that a fertilised embryo to represent human life?

Sorry to shatter your illusion but around 99.9% of all fertilised embryos never make it to the uterine wall and end up on a Kleenex or one of those things with wings.