Get Your Christmas Emergency Contraception Now!December 6, 2011 2 Comments
“Jingle pills!” was the headline that woke me out of my stupor after a 10-hour overnight flight from the other end of the world. “Good grief, what’s this,” I thought to myself as I picked up the paper and jumped on a train home. Turns out that Life, a rather unimaginatively named British pro-life group, was freaking out because British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) announced that over the Christmas party season, British women can pre-order the morning-after pill. Well, you never know your luck at the office end-of-year celebrations — a few too many wines and Neville from Accounts may suddenly look like Daniel Craig.
But according to Life, this is going to lead to an outbreak of casual sex this December. I know it’s getting cold here, but most people will just put on a coat rather than seek out some drunken sexy time. I love how these conservative types like to carry on as if casual sex only started happening last week.
And then there was the tedious whine that this will make obtaining the morning-after pill as “easy as dialling a pizza.” Well, it’ll actually involve an online application, a telephone consultation with a trained nurse and then the package will be posted — and as an added responsible measure, BPAS will be throwing in a condom for good measure. So it’s a tad more involved than dialling a pizza — unless Life think Pizza Hut should offer telephone counselling with a cardiologist before anyone orders the extra cheese.
In any case, obtaining contraception shouldn’t be a total nightmare. Surely if Life is serious about preventing pregnancy, they would like women who want birth control to obtain it easily and cheaply? Surely Life is aware that preaching abstinence-only is about as effective in stopping unwanted pregnancies as jumping up and down after sex or douching with club soda? Surely Life does not feel that a drunken one-night stand is a marvellous way to start a family? Aren’t these the same people who love to harp on about “family values?”
Perhaps Life will start holding information sessions for women who get pregnant this month, decide to have the baby and want to know what to say a few years down the track when their child wants to know where they came from. I suggest something along the lines of: “Well, Timmy, someone poured a load of Jamaican rum into the punch and next thing you know, I was busy creating you while bent over the photocopier.”
If anyone does find themselves pregnant after a Christmas party one-night-stand in Britain this year, at least they will have choices here. Including those abortions that Life hates so much. Or perhaps every member of Life can volunteer to adopt any unwanted baby conceived in a festive haze this year. In any case, it’s another pro-life panic where the underlying motivation is a spot of good, old-fashioned slut-shaming.
Georgia Lewis is a journalist who lives in London. Contact her here.