Charter for Choice

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March 2019

Emergency contraception home delivery service launched…for £45

Emergency contraception brand EllaOne has just launched a 3-hour home delivery service… for the eye-watering price of £45. Don’t get us wrong, EllaOne has done a lot right here: their #MyMorningAfter campaign brilliantly calls out the stigma around EC, and we applaud them for giving women the option to have EC swiftly delivered without having to undergo an embarrassing – and clinically unnecessary – consultation. But at £45, how accessible is this service really? Surely if women have to pay £45 to access EC without humiliation, something’s gone badly wrong. We want to see a completely new system where EC can be sold straight from the shelf – as already happens in the USA, Canada and many European countries – without a consultation, and for under a tenner.

Contradictory messages on fertility cause unnecessary worry

New data published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has revealed just how much we worry about our fertility – with over half of women, including nearly a quarter of young women, reporting concern. It is often suggested that women are unaware of their fertility decline and consequently risk ‘leaving it too late’, but the high level of anxiety in this study suggests otherwise.

Women are aware of all the things that may affect their fertility, from their age and weight to contraception and STIs. It’s time to acknowledge that overstating these risks is harmful too. At bpas we see women who thought they were infertile due to having had chlamydia, or who stopped taking the pill because of (unfounded) fertility concerns – only to end up with an unplanned pregnancy. Women deserve responsible, evidence-based communication on this subject, and nothing less.

Activists march for NI women’s rights on St Patrick’s Day

In the same month it emerged that Northern Irish women are struggling to access terminations south of the border, Irish and UK activists marched in London on St Patrick’s Day to call for change. We were proud to join the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign, Sister Supporter, MPs Diana Johnson and Stella Creasy, the cast of Derry Girls and many others to call for an urgent change to Northern Ireland’s abortion law, which currently sees 28 women per week travel to England for treatment. We cannot let this continue. The time is #NowForNI.

Champion of Choice

Our champion of choice this month is Dr David Paintin, who passed away on 30th March. He was a committed obstetrician/gynaecologist and an inspiring advocate for women’s reproductive freedom across several decades, including in the 1960s before the Abortion Act was passed. He was also chair of the Birth Control Trust and a trustee here for many years. He’ll be sorely missed by all at bpas.