Spain Govt to Allow Over-the Counter Sales of Morning After Pill at Pharmacies
by Steven Ertelt
May 12, 2009
Madrid, Spain (LifeNews.com) — The government of Spain announced Monday that the western European nation is the latest to allow over-the-counter sales of the morning after pill. The government also approved sales of the Plan B drug with no age restrictions — meaning teenage girls could purchase the drug without a doctor visit or parental input.
Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez said the morning after pill does not cause an abortion, even though the drug can cause an abortion in some circumstances.
"It’s an emergency method for dealing with unplanned and unexpected sexual relations without protection," she claimed, according to an AP report. "We don’t want it to become another means of contraception."
The government issued the order because the morning after pill is currently freely available in some regions of Spain while it requires a prescription in others. The government order requires pharmacies to make the drug available for purchase without a doctor’s visit.
"The aim is to make it available to anyone who wants it without any difficulty," Jimenez said.
Jimenez said the morning after pill has reduced abortions in countries where it is widely available, but figures from some nations show otherwise.
In fact, new reports from the British government in England just yesterday indicate the number of teenage pregnancies and teen abortions are on the rise, as is the abortion rate — the percentage of teen pregnancies that end in abortion.
According to the London Daily Mail teen pregnancy rates in England are now higher than they were in 1995 and pregnancies among girls under 16, below the age of sexual consent, are also at the highest level since 1998.
That is despite the British government spending £300 million (that’s over $454 million for those of us in the United States) in an attempt to cut the number of teen pregnancies in half by promoting comprehensive sexual education.
Several other nations have also seen abortions rise, or at least not decline, even though the morning after pill is widely available.
Some 112,000 women had abortions in Spain in 2007 and the abortion totals have been on the rise in the nation. The number of abortions has doubled in the last decade.
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