The pro-life charity LIFE, is urging South Warwickshire Health Care Trust to be the first in the country to stop providing the morning-after pills to women through chemists in the area. Nuala Scarisbrick, LIFE trustee said: "The government thinks that easy access to the morning-after pill (MAP) will reduce the number of teenage pregnancies but in fact the opposite is true. Between 1992 and 2000 prescriptions for under 16s for the MAP rose by 284 per cent but the overall pregnancy rate among that group remained the same. In Herefordshire, when prescriptions for the MAP rose by 17 per cent in 2000, the underage pregnancy rate shot up by 75 per cent. "When will the penny drop that throwing the morning-after pill (along with more and more condoms, the Pill, abortion and so on) at young people actually causes high teenage pregnancy rates, climbing abortion rates and soaring rates of STIs, because it gives young people yet another 'green light' to go ahead and have sex? "And the MAP is not without significant health risks. Women are advised to take the pill within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse and reassured by a '95 per cent success rate'. What they are not told is that this drops to 58 per cent after 49 to 72 hours. If a pregnancy results it is far more likely to be ectopic than a normal one and ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition. The MAP delivers massive doses of hormones often to very young girls whose bodies are still developing. No research has been carried out on the long-term effects of this. "The MAP is marketed as a contraceptive but this is a lie when used late in a woman's cycle: it causes the early abortion of an embryo by preventing its implantation in the womb. Many women and girls are unaware of this and are shocked when they discover what they have done to themselves and to their unborn baby. "Over 20 years of value-free sex education has failed spectacularly in its aim to reduce teenage pregnancy, abortion and STIs. The condom-culture and the message 'if you can,t be good be careful' have simply encouraged children to have sex too young with disastrous consequences. The MAP is another of these measures that are merely 'sticking plasters' over a complex and far-reaching problem. "We are calling on South Warwickshire Health Care Trust to be the first to do the right thing and condemn the government's MAP free-for-all scheme. What is needed is a complete re-think of public sex education and sex education in schools. A national programme should be implemented to warn young people of the dangers of early sexual activity and STIs, to raise their self-esteem and to encourage abstinence in our children the only sure contraceptive. No more morning-after pills, please."
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