Thursday, 24 February 2011
Ireland: Is the Morning After Pill being mistaken for smarties? Only Smarties have the answer
The Irish Medicines Board (‘IMB’) has given the go-ahead to one brand of Morning After Pill – ‘NorLevo’ – to be given over the counter. This is so-called ‘emergency contraception’ is to be sold without prescription. While it is thought that individual pharmacists will check the ages of the customers who want to buy it – it’s a grey area whether or not it will be an offence to sell it to someone who is underage and without their parents or doctor knowing. And it cuts out the role of a doctor examining the ‘customer’ to find out if they are suitable for the MAP. Girls buying the Morning After Pill aren’t patients – they will be ‘consumers’ randomly buying this mega-dose of hormones along with cotton wool and cough sweets. It certainly lends a very casual attitude to taking the MAP. In effect, a precocious thirteen year old could walk giggling into a pharmacy and procure the MAP. This is being hailed as progress by pro-abortion pressure groups in Ireland because they say that if it’s taken earlier, NorLevo will be more effective in ending an early pregnancy. The pro-abortion lobby may care nothing for the utter and absolute destruction of the early pregnancy – but you would think they would care more about the health of the girls taking the MAP. Giving out the Norlevo MAP like they were smarties does not take into account that the MAP could interact negatively with other drugs in the system of the girl taking it. Nor does it take into account Ireland’s social context – some of the highest rates of binge drinking in Europe are recorded among older primary school pupils and young teenagers. Why are they so blithe to think that there will be no medication and alcohol complications? Is it so unlikely that Irish teenagers will swig strawberry vodka over the weekend and pop the MAP on Monday? Has Ireland changed since I left it? The secondary school that I attended when I was thirteen had a hard drinking crew – everyone had a head ache on Monday morning, and girls cowered over desks while they tried to piece together their memories of the weekend. Now that the Morning After Pill has less restrictions than pain killers – will people be more cautious about taking it? My guess is that the Morning After Pill will come to seem as innocuous as smarties. Or maybe only smarties have the answer. PS - LifeSiteNews quoted Dr. Seán Ó Domhnaill of the Life Institute as saying that the IMB were being negligent towards young girls; “In the case of an emergency, parents will not even know that their children have taken this medication,” he said. “Parents of these children would be unaware, with potentially serious results, especially if there is bleeding involved.” It makes a satire of the whole matter of parental consent. Irish schools are rigorous about sending home paperwork of all kinds (e.g. about exams) to be signed by parents. But Irish society is being very selective in what the role of a parent means. Parents have to sign forms and pay exam fees to the Irish government, but it’s highly unclear how parents will be informed that their daughter wants a cocktail of hormones.