Alternattiva Demokratika backs introduction of morning-after pill

AD says legislation of the morning-after pill should be part of a 'desperately needed' reform in sexual health education; hits out at negative portrayal of debate

The introduction of the morning-after pill should be planned in a measured way, AD says
The introduction of the morning-after pill should be planned in a measured way, AD says

Alternattiva Demokratika has backed the legislation of the morning-after pill, underlining that the introduction of the emergency contraceptive pill is part of a “desperately needed” reform in sexual health education.

In a statement issued this morning, the Green Party said it was “adamantly” against the negative portrayal of the debate. The AD’s remarks come in the wake of comments made by a women’s pro-life organisation that warned that the morning-after pill could encourage rape and abusive behaviour by men, and that it is linked with increased sexual promiscuity.

“AD is adamantly against the negative portrayal of contraceptive issues and female sexual health. The negative images attributed to sexually active women might hinder young women from seeking support,” it said.

The debate on the legislation of the morning-after pill was ignited this week after the Women’s Rights Foundation filed a judicial protest against the ban against the ban of emergency contraception, saying it breached their fundamental rights as women as ratified by Malta in various international conventions.

Both major political parties have remained tight-lipped on the issue and have refused to take an official stand on the legislation of the morning after-pill. But, on Sunday, Alternattiva Demokratika became the first political party to take a clear stand on the issue, joining NGO Moviment Graffiti in declaring their support in favour of licensing the morning-after pill in Malta.

AD argued that the introduction of the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) – informally known as the morning-after pill – should be planned in a measured way.

Moreover, Ann Marie Azzopardi, the general secretary of the AD’s youth arm, argued that the morning-after pill should be made available for free through the national health service, and should be available to anyone over 16 years of age.

“It should also be made available to under 16 year olds subject to medical supervision. Women dispensed with ECP should be offered sexual health counselling.  There is a need for a positive, shameless sexual health campaign accompanying this measure,” Azzopardi said.

 Claire Azzopardi Lane, the AD’s spokesperson on civil rights and social issues, said the ECP on its own will prevent, in an emergency a prospective pregnancy, but will not change any underlying psychosocial problems which tend to lead to unplanned pregnancy.

“ECP cannot be used on a long term basis since it has a 30% failure rate, but it can prove an effective last minute contraception in emergency cases of contraceptive failure or sexual accidents. In cases of rape, it is ideal since it potentially protects the victim from suffering any long term consequences,” she said.

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