THE MORNING AFTER PILL
The so called ‘morning after pill’ is based on the progestin levonorgestrel which inhibits implantation of a fertilised egg. The two tablets must be taken as soon as possible and, if it taken within 24 hours, the likelihood of success is much higher.
Experience in France and Great Britain
The morning after pill has been available in France and Great Britain since 2000 and an experiment with it was carried out in Manchester: this contraceptive was made available in pharmacies for free in areas where there was a problem regarding underage sex and therefore very young girls (even 13 and 14 year olds) getting pregnant due to inexperience. In France, this pill was distributed in schools, which was very controversial.
The church’s position
Following commercialisation in France, The Roman Observer newspaper called the morning after pill ‘a pharmacological abortion’, sustaining that ‘it is not a contraceptive method, it is abortive; it is used to kill an already fertilised egg, which is therefore a human embryo, and not to prevent conception. It is thus a pharmacological abortion which is not dissimilar to a surgical one, at least in terms of principles which deserve protection. Of course you cannot talk about abortion if there has been no conception but, in some cases, the abortive intention is evident, both on the part of young people and society'.
There is a debate about the risks induced by the morning after pill. Easy access to the pill could encourage young people to experiment with sex and not take precautions and this facilitates the transmission of venereal diseases, like hepatitis and AIDS.