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Lothian Health Board Scheme to use Morning After Pill to reduce Abortions was "Misguided and ignored facts" says Christian Medical Fellowship

Published: 3rd December 2004

The scheme by Lothian Health Board to reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortions through giving women advance supplies of the morning-after-pill has been condemned as “misguided and ignorant of the facts” by the Christian Medical Fellowship [CMF].

CMF, who represent 4,500 Christian doctors in the UK, has frequently expressed its concern over Government policy for reducing unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, which appears to place undue emphasis on the morning-after-pill [MAP].

Peter Saunders, General Secretary of the Christian Medical Fellowship, stated; “I am not in the least surprised at the failure of this policy to reduce abortions in Lothian because it does not address the issues at the heart of the problem. Rather than an ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff ’ approach, what is needed is a well conceived and planned strategy based on behavioural change.”

Saunders continued, “Recent government decisions have made the morning after pill available in pharmacies, schools and supermarkets without prescription, as part of a programme that aims to reduce the under-18 conception rate by 50% by 2010. While the Government’s aim of reducing unplanned and unwanted pregnancy outside marriage is laudable, the current means of achieving it are doomed to failure.

“Existing government strategy is underpinned by the dangerous assumption that since young people are ‘going to do it anyway’ all efforts should be focussed on minimising the harm that results from unprotected sex. But rather than helping young people to make wise choices this 'values-free' policy has led to a paradoxical increase in sexual activity and a rate of unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease that is the highest in Europe. If young people are supplied with accurate information about the consequences of promiscuous behaviour, and receive the message that it is OK to say ‘no’, then research has shown that a substantial proportion will delay sexual activity”

Saunders concluded, “CMF also holds grave concerns about the increased availability of the MAP because it removes prescription of the pill from the safety of the doctor patient relationship. The pharmacy, school or supermarket, is simply the wrong context for a young distressed woman to make such a request and to receive counselling and care. The exchange of essential medical and social information needs time and sensitivity from an experienced counsellor or medical professional.'

For further information:

Philippa Taylor (CMF Head of Public Policy) 020 7234 9664
Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668

Media Enquiries:

Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225

About CMF:

Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 5,000 doctors, 900medical and nursing students and 300 nurses and midwives as members in all branches of medicine, nursing and midwifery. A registered charity, it is linked to over 100 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.

CMF exists to unite Christian healthcare professionals to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.

Christian Medical Fellowship:
uniting & equipping Christian doctors & nurses
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