UK Pilot Program Provides Over-The-Counter Oral Contraception

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A pilot program to give teenage girls OTC birth control pills is being launched in London.

Pharmacists have been trained to do general checks and provide oral contraception in two inner-city London areas, both with high teenage pregnancy rates (one, Southwark, has twice the national average). I am sooooo interested to see the findings.

Apparently the UK government’s goal to reduce teenage pregnancy by 50% by 2010 is not even close to being reached. Thus the program. Of courseĀ opponents go with the old stand-by: promiscuity.

What are your thoughts? Possible increases in promiscuity? OTC birth control for teens a good idea? I’m personally pretty jazzed, but we’ll see how things proceed.

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2 Responses to “UK Pilot Program Provides Over-The-Counter Oral Contraception”

  1. sistersister Says:

    Obviously not having OTC access to oral contraception has not stopped these teens from being sexually active, so I think this is a good idea. Are they also going to try to educate the teens that do come to the pharmacy about also protecting themselves from STIs? Prevention, prevention, prevention people!

  2. Jessica Harrison Says:

    If you look at other programs that have increased access to other forms of healthcare (prenatal care, for example), you see a correlated decline in poor/undesired health outcomes (reduction of low birth weight, for example). So, while that may be a leap, my general hypothesis is that, as long as the access is as they are pitching it (in high need areas, affordable), there will be a positive outcome. And for all the opponents out there, I believe this measure likely will reduce the number of abortions that result from many of these unplanned pregnancies. My radical wishes??: lower the age so younger teenaged girls have access, too; and launch another pilot program to develop relationships and educate about ALL forms of birth control and reproductive health care, so these young women remain empowered to make educated choices about their own bodies.

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