400 years ago condoms were first used and 32 years ago Ireland joined many other nations of western society in legalizing there use and now in 2011 we go to the next level, as a nation we have authorized the sale of the morning after pill without prescription for as little as the price of a full Irish Breakfast. Now we ask ourselves are we a nation that is pro-sex, pro-recreation or pro-creation?
In a recent discussion i held on social network page facebook i received varied and contrasting opinions from both catholic and non catholic Irish mothers, pharmacists, single women and single men in both Ireland and the UK as well as views from those other EU countries and academics in the US regarding our step either forward or back with the governments move into this area. As our little nation hates to admit we are one where sex does happen! For too long the very word wasn’t allowed to be mentioned in mass media, but slowly and surely we have opened our minds and with that a battered and bruised history of sexual abuse and sex scandals that are to this day being examined have been exposed.
The fundamental issue that arises from the legalization of the morning after pill among Women according to the discussion is whether they will use it as an excuse to not bother with condoms, as one female mature student currently on erasmus put it “i know there is still the issue of std’s but girls should take responsibility for themselves….especially if alcohol is involved, and you cant depend on a guy to wear a condom….then limited risk of getting pregnant and hence no need to go get the morning after pill”. This raised many other knock on effects regarding the area of medical ethics in 21st century Ireland with two post graduate Irish students in Scotland studying in the areas of pharmacy and Journalism clearly pin pointing how social patterns and morals can be altered especially with something as small as a tablet that can hold the opportunity to life or death.
Is taking the morning after pill ” preventing a pregnancy from occurring by removing the chance for the egg to be fertilized by sperm. It is not an abortion, it is preventative of abortions” as one New York contributor added or in the words of a current physics Trinity College Student “No, it removes the possibility of implantation, AFTER fertilization” but is it more than just technical terms and medical discussions. Is this issue about our Christian and Catholic ethos as French Mother of two Celine put it regarding her country “the church is nearly gone since the second wold war ..and that maybe why since 1969 absortion is legal in france ..i have nothing against church ..i’m a catholic myself ..the difference is just incredible sometimes how peoples minds could be controlled by church in Ireland”. We are still seen as a nation of saints n scholars by many.
The discussion lead into the realms of abortion and whether or not it is merited or not, it is still viewed with disdain by many but regardless if someone is sexually abused and or raped one would think that a modern Ireland would allow for abortion. The interesting point regarding all this is, whether or not the morning after pill is abortion or not, are we subtly avoiding the abortion referendum card by giving the morning after pill for 9.99!
a common view is one held by an active member of the catholic church in Dublin whose contributed was seen as many as down to earth and valid “Technically, the pill is an abortifacient, which means it induces abortion. Making it freely available means there’ll be a lot more people using it as pregnancy control, leading inadvertently or otherwise, to abortions. You can probably guess I’m not in favour of it”. The morning after pills links to lack of fertilization and also the pills inability to function to a high standard after three times of use leads one to see that the regular pill maybe a better option for those who are interested in regular sex without condoms, but condoms should be encouraged regardless and we must not project the morning after pill as a replacement for other forms of contraception but more of an emergency option if its required.
At this point i shall leave this article to time and society, hopefully women and men alike will respect each other and be respected and treated fairly and sex hopefully wont be lost even more to the media and seen as just a hobby or casual experience rather than a shared moment between two people.