NZ Herald May 06, 2008
Girls may be given free access to the emergency contraceptive pill at their local Auckland pharmacies in a bid to reduce teen pregnancies and abortions. The medicine can already be sold by many pharmacists without a doctor’s prescription, including to girls without parental consent. An Auckland District Health Board committee will tomorrow consider a staff proposal to make the pill free through community pharmacies in Auckland city. People given the Levonelle 1 pill by their pharmacist would also be offered a packet of condoms and a pamphlet on sexual health and contraception.
Families First spokesman Bob McCoskrie said the move to widen access to the medicine would exclude parents. “Making it free and even more accessible is going to continue to alienate parents from the role they should be involved in.” Brendan Malone, spokesman for the Catholic Church-aligned Family Life International group, said widening access was a “deceptive” response to teen pregnancy and abortions. “It’s deceptive in that it seems like a good idea but is not addressing the root causes of the problem and creates other problems. “Emergency contraceptive can act as an [abortion] drug. If conception has occurred the embryo is flushed from the body because the lining of the uterus is made unfriendly for implantation.”