Thursday, 24 April 2008

teenage pregnancy, stupid women and bungy jumping on a condom elastic

On Teenage Pregnancy....official statistics in February showed Teenage pregnancy rates are declining. Good news. Even more good news to read today that the Improvement and Development Agency reports on Local Area Agreements show that the second most common priority for Local Authorities in England is reducing the under 18 conception rate.

On stupid women - this came into my inbox recently....
I have decided to do a bit of campaigning journalism and have set up a website and Downing Street e-petition about better access to emergency contraception morning after pill). If you are a journalist receiving this email, or a blogger, do please consider writing about this subject and linking to the petition.

Here is the link to the petition if you want to sign it:

And here is the website that explains what it is I am doing and why:

Basically, at the moment if a woman wants emergency contraception she must get it herself at the time of needing it. Although in 2006 the Royal Pharmaceutical Society issued a statement saying that it is not against the advanced supply of emergency contraception in principle, in many instances women are being refused advance provision by pharmacists.

This means that a woman can't buy it in advance from pharmacies to keep in the bathroom cabinet in case a condom splits. Nor can someone else buy it for her unless they can convince the pharmacist that it is an exceptional situation such as a person being housebound. Being stuck at work or at home looking after children is not usually deemed a good enough reason. Mums cannot buy it for daughters. A woman's partner cannot buy it for her. Nor can her friend.

Many people including some pharmacists argue that this is because emergency contraception should not be used other than in an emergency and that they need to ask certain questions of women before they can take it. This suggests women are incapable of self-diagnosing - something we actually do every time we take a painkiller which, taken wrongly, could also harm us.

If you support this please pass this email onto your friends and contacts - the more people who sign the petition the more notice government will take and things might change. If you can do write to your MP about this too - there is a sample letter on the website that you can copy.

Finally on condom bungys...did you see the Metro on Tuesday - a South African guy used 18,500 out of date condoms tied together and bungy jumped from them without even checking them with sand bags first. A joker in my team thought I should do it to raise money for Brook - clearly they want me to give a bit more to my work!

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