Friday, 27 March 2009

Quick hit: Morning-after pill may be leading to reduction in abortion rate

Much gratitude to Azlemed for the tip off on this one:
Initial findings indicate the trial of a free emergency contraceptive pill is behind a 13% drop in abortions in Auckland.

The Auckland District Health Board is five months into the $300,000 trial, which gives Auckland women the "morning-after pill" for free in a bid to reduce pregnancies and abortions. The pills can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of having sex.

The DHB was originally concerned the emergency contraceptive pill was being used instead of other methods of contraception, but says this study appears to show nearly half of the users had never taken the pill before.

It also shows a 13% reduction in terminated pregnancies since the start of the trial, which concludes next week.
That's the whole news brief, there may be more at other news sources?

The earlier a termination occurs the better, and it sounds like the emergency contraceptive pill may be doing a good job at aiding women to avoid the trauma and physical impact of an abortion further into gestation. It'll be interesting to see the full results of the trial in due course.


Madeleine said...

Why would anyone who thinks abortion is a women's right care if the right is exercised more or less often?

Reducing its occurance only matters if someone is being harmed/killed by the process. Oh but wait....

Azlemed said...

Is it not better if abortion is done less.. there is less harm to the women if they can prevent pregnancy before having to have an abortion. I am pro choice, that to me means that women should have all choices made available to them and then they can decide which is right for them.

wickedferretknits said...

Because, despite what you seem to think, most people who support a woman's right to choose are not 'pro-abortion." They're pro choice. WHICH MEANS THEY GET TO CHOOSE WHETHER THEY HAVE AN ABORTION OR NOT.

I'm pro-choice, but I would be perfectly happy if no women ever aborted, ever again. But I'm a realist, and I know as long as there are women who are pregnant, there will be women who want to terminate. And that's their decision, and absolutely none of my business. Or yours. It is up to the woman to define what grows inside her, not you or anyone else.

Banning abortion will not make any difference to abortions taking place. It just means that more women will die from botched ones, but since you're more concerned with potential life than a fully actualised person, you probably don't care too much.

Julie said...

What Azlemed said.

What happened to the usually right adage "prevention is better than cure"?

Julie said...

sorry for the simul-comment wfk, I agree with you too!

I have been away from the computer for a few days for work, so I've yet to catch up on all the discussion yet, but I did ask Madeleine some questions about the practicalities of banning abortion in an earlier thread, not sure if she has responded yet or not.

Julie said...

I've just checked the thread on abortion where I asked Madeleine about the practicalities of banning abortion and she has not yet responded.

Madeleine said...

Julie you assumed, incorrectly, that the M from MandM commenting on that thread was me.

I will remind the other M to reply.

Julie said...

Fair cop Madeleine, I did assume it was you and can see now that it was MandM, not your personal sign-in, sorry about that. Still interested in a response of course!

Anna said...

Abortion is only a matter of indifference to those who don't care about the women going through it.

I figure that if a woman can avoid the unpleasantness or upset of an abortion, it's a good thing.

But then, knowing sinners are suffering is all part of the righteous joy of being a conservative Christian, isn't it?

muerk said...

"But then, knowing sinners are suffering is all part of the righteous joy of being a conservative Christian, isn't it?"

Oh bollocks!

I'm a conservative Catholic (although when it comes to the economy I'm left wing) and there is NO way I want to see anyone suffer, least of all women in a crisis pregnancy.

But I have always identified an embryo/fetus as a human being and worthy of love and protection.

The conservative Catholics I know are involved with Family Life International which gets in there and practically helps women to keep their babies. Not just until the baby is born, but with ongoing help.

Anna said...

Fair enough, Muerk - from what I know of your beliefs, that phrase certainly doesn't describe you. Much as I may not see eye to eye (or tooth to tooth!) with you, I respect that your moral views are thoughtful and your concern for others genuine.

'Conservative Christian' was probably the wrong choice of words. What I actually meant is 'sadistic Christian' - ie the kind who use their beliefs as a mandate to offend or upset other people, because they seem to enjoy it. Fred Phelps is an obvious example, but there are others to found closer to home.

I'm intrigued by what you mean when you use the phrase 'conservative Christian'. Some would argue, after all, that Christianity properly understood/practised is inherently conservative (although I'm not one of them!).

Julie said...

I'm quite concerned about the role that anti-abortion group Family Life International play in pregnancy counselling lines in NZ. I think it's great that they follow through on the rhetoric by supporting women and children after birth, but I do wonder what would happen if a woman rang one of their help lines and really wanted an abortion. Would she receive advice about how to access one?

Anna said...

I don't know squat about Family Life International, but I get irked with those who both condemn women for having abortions, and rail about the evils of solo motherhood and family breakdown as well (I'm not suggesting you're one, Muerk - I'm fairly confident you're not). This seems to be a theme of US politics, where policies towards solo mums are often downright punitive. Hostility towards women parenting alone does very little to encourage women to continue with their pregnancies.

captiver said...

The Herald did a story on this on Monday, which is good, except for one thing that outrages me. The Herald included a quote from Ken Orr of Right to Life that is just WRONG. It seems that because it's a quote, the Herald doesn't think it needs to check the accuracy of what it prints. Orr said: "in some cases, Levonelle 1 could induce an abortion because the sperm had fertilised the egg. This was not stated on a patient information sheet about the drug. If it was, some women would choose not to use it, he said. He intends to write to the supplier to have this information added." Levonelle is the morning after pill discussed in the article. But what Orr says is simply NOT TRUE. Fertilisation is not implantation. A pregnancy starts at implantation and it is only after implantation (a few days after fertilisation) that an abortion or miscarriage can take place. What Ken describes is not an abortion in any sense. The morning after pill DOES NOT work after implantation i.e. does not cause "abortions" and does not end a pregnancy. But Orr calls it an abortion and the Herald just lets him do it. It's undoubtedly a deliberate attempt to spread misinformation about the morning after pill in order to both reduce its acceptability/use and increase opposition to it. If Ken opposes preventing a fertilised egg from implanting in the womb (one of the ways Levonelle works, the other being prevention of ovulation) he should say so, but not call this abortion. It's not pregnancy at that stage, so it's not an abortion. Why aren't Ken et al pleased at the reduction in abortions? Because their agenda is not just about abortion, of course. It's a wider conservative agenda that holds sex should only be for procreation, thus all and any contraception (and of course, gay sex) must be opposed.