Morning-after pill 'should be available in schools'
Teenage girls should be given greater access to the morning-after pill in schools and GP surgeries alongside free condoms, according to the NHS watchdog the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which carries out the most abortions in the UK, said "women of all ages" should be able to keep the morning-after pill at home.
Teenage girls should be given greater access to the morning-after pill in schools and GP surgeries, health watchdog Nice said.
Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, told The Times (£): “Ideally we would like women of all ages to be able to either keep the emergency pill at home or obtain it free of charge from their local pharmacy.”
The call for teenage girls to be given greater access to the morning-after pill in schools and GP surgeries has been criticised, with one pressure group saying that the move would be "a licence for unprotected sex."
Josephine Quintavalle, from pressure group Comment on Reproduction, and Roger Goss, from Patient Concern, told The Daily Telegraph:
I think it is really worrying and deeply unwise. Having a stockpile of the morning-after pill on hand is a licence for unprotected sex, and that puts young women at increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
– Josephine Quintavalle, from the pressure group Comment on Reproductive Ethics
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said under-25s - including those under the age of consent - should be able to access emergency contraception more readily, including pills and the IUD (intrauterine device, or coil).
Nice wants to cut the high numbers of unwanted teenage pregnancies across England and hopes the new guidelines will help.
Under the plans, Nice said suitably qualified nurses (including school nurses) and pharmacists should be given the ability to dispense free emergency contraceptive pills in accordance with patient group directions (PGDs).
There are two types of emergency contraceptive pill. Levonelle has to be taken within 72 hours (three days) of sex, and ellaOne has to be taken within 120 hours (five days) of sex.