UFL Star Logo

Raising greater awareness of human life issues


Home
About Us
Topics
Sexual Health
A Christian Response to Sex Education
Abstinence
Condoms
Contraception
FPA - 75 Years
FertilityCare
Marriage
Morning After Pill
Natural Family Planning
Population
Safe Sex
STDs
Campaigning Issues
Events
Leaflets
Links
Support
Contact Us
Site Index



Morning After Pill



The Morning After Pill - Levonelle 2

Since 2000 the Government has sought to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies, not by telling girls not to have intercourse - the only sure way of not becoming pregnant, but instead by making easily available the so called 'Morning After Pill'.

What exactly is the 'Morning After Pill'?  It is a course of 2 high dosage hormonal tablets that are being promoted as being an emergency contraceptive pill taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse.  When it was first introduced as an 'over the counter' pill it was said that it was a 'once only' pill.  Now, girls and women are taking it, seemingly, as often as they like.

Why is this?  One of the reasons is that it is so easily available there is no control over who takes it or how often.  The pharmacist is supposed to ask certain questions to ensure that it is 'safely' taken, but any personal details of the girl requesting it, if obtained at all, need not be truthful.  Even going to the same chemist and seeing a different pharmacist could, in theory, mean someone taking it 'safely' more than once.  How much more so if a girl goes into a different chemist each time, and sees a different pharmacist each time.  It is not hard to see how easy therefore, this 'emergency contraceptive pill' or 'morning after pill' can be 'safely' obtained.

Assuming that there really is a need for this pill, and a girl had to go to her GP each time, would she go?  The answer undoubtly would be 'NO'.  She may be single and under 16 years of age and not wish to acknowledge that she is sexually active.  She could believe that her doctor would be able to check her medical history and say that the pill may have adverse effects on her and not be suitable, especailly if her body is still changing through puberty.  The doctor may think it dangerous for her to have it a second or subsequent time - or even a first time, or it could be too soon after the last time she had requested it.  The doctor may request that her parents are told, especially if she is under 16.  She may just not want that information on her medical notes.  But at least the doctor would have full consistent records on file about her health which may be important later in life.

This action of going to the GP in itself may make a girl think twice before having sexual intercourse and therefore putting herself at risk of not only becoming pregnant, but also of not contracting a sexually transmitted disease.  However, those who promote free sex obviously didn't like the inconvenience or shame of having to see a doctor, and so the Government relented and allowed the 'morning after pill' to be made available over the counter.  The numbers using this form of 'contraception' has risen drastically, yet the rate of teenage pregnancies has not dropped.

The 'Morning After Pill' is promoted as something that is given in confidence, with as few questions asked, and on a 'nobody need know' basis, whatever the girl's age.  Yet parents are supposed to be responsible for their children and doctors are supposed to know the medical history of their patients or at least for all relevant information to be in their notes.  Sadly this is not the case.  The 'Morning After Pill', like abortion is covered in secrecy to the detriment of those who really care for the young girls and women who take these pills.  Even schools now give out the 'Morning After Pill' without the parent's knowledge in the belief that 'they know best' and 'confidentiality'.  Yet these same schools tell parents how the child is doing academically in the school report.  Parents are told if a child is not attending school.  Parents have to give permission for a school medical to take place, and in some cases be in attendance.  Yet the 'Morning After Pill' can freely be given to any girl, whatever her age, without parental knowledge.

A letter in the Oxford Times dated 4 June 2004 from Joanna Husson of Schering Health Care Ltd, who produce this pill, states "Levonelle is licensed for sale over the counter in pharmacies to over-16s.  Under-16s can be prescribed Levonelle-2 either by a doctor or by a specially-trained pharmacist or nurse who provide it through strictly-controlled Government schemes which aim to tackle teenage pregnancy.  These schemes, known as patient group directions, are set up and operated by local health professionals with no direct involvement of Schering Health Care.  We support these schemes where they provide good counselling on sexual health issues and where appropriate prescibing guidelines are followed......  Women have now been taking levonorgestrel, the hormone contained in Levonelle, in their contraceptive products for over three decades.  The safety profile of levonorgestrel is well established and this has led the Committee on the Safety of Medicines (CSM) to accept that Levonelle meets all the relevant criteria for a pharmacy medicine.  Women should therefore feel reassured by this evidence and be confident about using emergency contraception."

How this 'information' can be reassuring to anyone taking this high dosage hormone when no actual information is given on Levonelle 2 itself is very confusing.  Only Levonorgestrel is mentioned as being safe in a dosage 50 times less than the amount Levonelle 2 contains.  It is also worth noting that only two years after Levonelle was readily available as an over the counter 'safe' product when the two tablets had to be taken exactly 12 hours apart, Levonelle 2 came on the market, still as two pills, but now both pills should be taken at the same time.  It seems those who take it are not responsible enough to remember to take it exactly 12 hours apart.  In fact, Marie Stopes International, the abortion providers, actually suggest that it is purchased before (casual) sex has taken place so that it can be used immediately afterwards.

Before anyone takes this high dosage hormonal pill, maybe to be sure of how 'safe' it is they could ask Schering Health the following questions:

  • Could they please explain what criteria was given by Schering Health Care Ltd to the Government so that they could distinguish whether or not it should be over-16s or under-16s that could obtain Levonelle as an emergency contraceptive?

  •  
  • Why was it decreed that girls over 16 did not need to see a doctor?

  •  
  • What studies were carried out to ascertain that an under-16 girl's body was only capable of using Levonelle at a specially trained doctor's, pharmacist's, or nurse's discretion?

  •  
  • What is the minimum age that an under-16 girl can be given Levonelle?

  •  
  • What changes occur on a 16th birthday that suddenly makes it okay for a girl to be able to go into a chemist and obtain Levonelle over the counter?

  •  
  • What is the specialised training that doctors, pharmacists and nurses are given to ensure that under-16s are safe, and why isn't this needed for over-16s?  Who devised this training scheme?  Who trains the doctors, pharmacists and nurses?

  •  
  • Can Schering Health (or the Government) produce figures that confirm that the strictly controlled schemes which aim to tackle teenage pregnancy that Schering Health Care support, are actually working?  Do these figures include over-16s who are still teenagers?  If not, why not?

  •  
  • What constitutes 'good counselling on sexual health issues' that Schering Health supports?

  •  
  • Can Schering Health confirm that Levonelle, used as an emergency contraceptive, is 50 times the normal dosage given as Levonorgestrel in the 'ordinary' contraceptive products that they say women have been using for over three decades?

  •  
  • What research and tests were carried out to ascertain the safety of this dosage?  On how many women and of what ages were these tests carried out, and over what time period?  Were these tests repeated - ie did the women who took Levonelle take it more than once?  What were the results?

  •  
  • How many times can Levonelle be taken 'safely' and what tests or research have been done to show this?  What happens or may happen to someone who takes Levonelle too many times?  Is there a minimum amount of time that should elapse before it is taken again?

  •  
  • How long does Levonelle last in a body?  For up to how long after taking it would it prevent someone becoming pregnant?  What tests or research have been done to show this?  What effect can Levonelle have on the use of a normal contraceptive pill?

  •  
  • What ongoing tests and/or research are being carried out on women who take the ordinary pill over many years and what ongoing tests and/or research are being carried out on women and girls who have taken Levonelle?

  •  
  • Is Levonelle only sold or prescribed to those girls or women who have had 'unprotected' sex during their ovulation period or is it obtainable at any time during a menstrual cycle?

  •  
  • Are pregnancy tests carried out first, in case a girl is already pregnant from a possible condom failure?

  •  
  • What can happen to a baby's development that is already in its early stages and has begun to grow in the womb without the knowledge of its mother who then takes Levonelle?

  •  
  • What is the procedure if someone who has taken the first course of tablets vomits?  Is a new course of tablets prescribed?  What if she vomits again?  Does she take yet another course?  Is she advised to go to her doctor at any point?  What is the doctor supposed to do to help her?

  •  
  • What effect might alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, weight, diet, or other medicines - prescribed or over the counter - have on the functioning of Levonelle?  What tests or research have been done to show this?

  •  
  • If someone does have an adverse re-action to Levonelle, is there an antidote?

  •  
  • What adverse reactions have their been since its launch and have any changes been made to Levonelle to counter these adverse reactions?

  •  
  • How exactly does Levonelle work?
     
    Does it prevent ovulation?  How?
     
    Does it prevent the sperm from reaching an egg?  How?
     
    Does it prevent a newly created human individual from implanting into the lining of the womb?  How?
     
    What happens to a girl's body after she has taken Levonelle?

  •  
  • Whilst it may well be true that Levonelle doesn't directly involve a greater risk of ectopic pregnancy, could it be true that for those who use it could also have contracted an STD such as Chlamydia, which in turn causes Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, thus causing scarring of the fallopian tubes and preventing a newly conceived child from entering the womb and therefore becoming an ectopic pregnancy?

  •  
  • Could it be seen that the promotion and availability of emergency contraception leads to a more promiscuous risk taking lifestyle and that that produces more ectopic pregnancies and other sexually transmitted diseases?

  •  
  • Before Levonelle is sold or prescribed, is the girl's blood pressure taken?

  •  
  • How does Schering Health confirm that Levonelle has worked once it has been taken?

  •  
  • If a girl suffers adverse side effects from taking Levonelle, do Schering Health accept responsibility?

  •  
  • What studies have been done or are being done on the effect of the environment and eco system once this high dosage hormone passes through the body's system into the water systems?  Do organisations such as 'Green Peace' and 'Friends of the Earth' support the use of Levonelle?

  •  
  • How much does Schering Health receive from the Government for Levonelle 2?

  •  
  • How much does Schering Health make by producing and selling Levonelle 2?

  •  

These are just some questions that need to be asked and answered.  Without knowing long term effects of taking hormonal pills on a daily or occasional basis, women are actually agreeing to being used as 'guinea pigs' for these multi-million pounds/dollars industries.  Does the health of girls and women, in both the short term and long term, really come before profits?  If you care about your health, you will find out exactly what these pills are doing to your body.

PLEASE NOTE: 'The Morning After Pill (MAP) - Emergency Contraception' is not the same as RU486.  Whilst the MAP is supposed to work before implantation (hence the need to take it within 72 hours), RU486 is designed to block hormones in the womb that maintain the placenta and therefore 'starving' the embryo so that s/he dies and comes away from the lining of the womb followed by an early labour when the embryo is expelled from the body.  RU486 can only be used upto 9 weeks into the pregnancy.  Both these drugs, and the ordinary Contraceptive Pill create an artificial hormonal inbalance to a normal healthy body.  Please see Abortion and Breast Cancer for details of one of the dangers of not allowing a first or subsequent pregnancy to go full term.


Home Top of Page