A sub-committee of the Taranaki District Health Board has recommended that the morning after pill be free at pharmacies for those between 12 and 24 years of age. It also recommended that the costs of contraception at general practices be reduced and that education for youth about healthy sexuality be provided. The objective of these measures was to reduce the very high teenage pregnancies in Taranaki and was part of the development of Taranaki’s [youth] health strategy.
The morning after pill and contraception is not the solution. International research has consistently shown that access to the morning after pill does not result in a reduction of unplanned pregnancies, births, abortions and STDs. A recent study at the University of North Carolina revealed that increased access to the morning after pill resulted in an increase of sexually transmitted diseases. The results are similar to a British study conducted by staff at the Nottingham University in 2010.
In 2007 a review of twenty-three studies published between 1998 and 2006 and analysed by a team at Princeton University, measured the effect of increased access to the morning after pill on unintended pregnancy and abortions. Every study showed that there was no reduction in unintended pregnancies or abortions following increased access to emergency contraception.
In 2005 the World Health Organisation declared that the contraceptive pill including the emergency contraceptive pill was carcinogenic to humans. It increases the risk of breast cancer, cervical cancer and liver cancer.