Ellie Levenson fights to make the morning-after pill more readily available

By Candice Krieger, May 1, 2008

Women are being patronised by not being given the opportunity to buy emergency contraception in advance of needing it, according to journalist Ellie Levenson, 29.

Last week, Ms Levenson launched the Women Are Not Stupid campaign — together with an e-petition — to urge the government to make the morning-after pill available from pharmacists on demand, in advance. At the moment, it is at the discretion of each pharmacy.

Ms Levenson, who lives in Tottenham, North London, is also calling for people other than the user to be allowed to purchase the contraception.

“We can’t buy it from pharmacies in advance and no-one else can go and buy it for you. This suggests women are incapable of self-diagnosing,” she says.

“There is no evidence that easy access to emergency contraception makes people more promiscuous or less likely to use contraception.”

She explains that this means that women often have to lie to get the pill. “If you’re going on holiday and are relying on condoms and want to take emergency contraception with you just in case, you would have to pretend to the pharmacist that you needed it for immediate use. No-one wants to lie, but you have to play the game, which is ludicrous.”

She adds that the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has said it is not against the advanced supply of emergency contraception in principle.

For further details of the campaign, see www.womenarenotstupid.co.uk, or petitions.pm.gov.uk/morningafterpill

Last updated: 5:07pm, May 7 2008