Thursday, October 27, 2005

Definition of "moral"

Well my dictionary says "Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary." Now of course goodness is a matter of individual viewpoint in a lot of cases. However I find it very difficult to relate the actions of the pharmacists of Arizona to the term "moral" in this article.

Have a read and see what you think. Now I know some pro-life people are going to turn round and say that they thing the morning-after pill should be allowed in cases of sexual assault, just not in other circumstances. However, I would raise the point that only one in five rape cases is reported to the police in the UK*. If we only offered the M.A.P. to women who had been sexually assaulted we would have to ask them to prove it and we'd exclude 80% of the victims of rape.

If it was available over the counter it would save a lot of worry and a lot of unwanted pregnancies.

The other half of the story is more complex. The contraceptive injection is being promoted by the NHS as the miracle answer to teenage pregnancy. Now the usual suspects are on their high horses shouting about how it'll lead to a collapse in the moral fibre of our youth! Seems like they have all forgotten that people have minds of their own and the right to use them. If the only reason they're not having more sex is fear of pregnancy then perhaps we should take that fear away and let them have more sex. So at one level I think we should just offer it to anybody who wants it, end of story.

On the other hand I speak as somebody who's tried a number of different contraceptive pills and hated every one. Pumping hormones into your body every day isn't a very natural or healthy way to live and I've never managed to stick with one for any length of time. The injections last three months but there's no way of stopping them if you don't like them. I think it's not a very good idea to push them in the way that the NHS seems to be doing. It also promotes the idea that womendeal with contraception and men don't have to think about it. I think these things need to be a two-person thought process, just like the rest of the relationship and having kids, etc.

And the miracle solution to teenage pregnancy... actually I do know what it is. Of course I do! The number one factor which will predict a high rate of teenage pregnancy...? Poverty. So more money going into education and better benefits for those on low incomes. Obvious really.

*The remaining 80% may have rightly figured out that it is a total waste of time to do so when only 6% of reported cases result in conviction. Good news for rapists - only 1% of rapes result in convictions in the UK.

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