Boots Release Cheaper Emergency Contraception | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Boots Release Cheaper Emergency Contraception

Comment Writer Helena Shaw reflects on Boots' release of cheaper emergency contraception across their UK stores

Good News! Boots have released a new, cheaper morning after pill. Having previously been criticised for charging only £1.50 less than its £28.50 branded pill for its generic one, it has released a lower priced own brand pill. The new pill ‘Levonorgestrel’ will cost £15.99. But, as always, an expansion of women’s freedom or sexual liberation, or anything that enables it, cannot possibly arise without conservative and controlling criticism.

The expansion of cheaper morning after pills- already sold at many supermarket pharmacies for cheaper prices such as Tesco for £13.50, or free from sexual health clinics- gathers fears of sexual irresponsibility. The fear is that women will start to use this pill in place of safe sex to prevent pregnancies but still leaving them open to the risk of STIs. This is heightened by websites such as ‘Chemist 4 U’ offering an even cheaper, £4.99, pill simply at the filling of a form (as opposed to in store consultations as in most pharmacies). There is a fear that not only will it be used irresponsibly, but young people may stock up on this pill as they will now be able to buy more then one at a time.

This is ridiculous.

Can we not have one improvement in women’s sexual health without naysayers and the patriarchy striving to set us back?
Can we not have one improvement in women’s sexual health without naysayers and the patriarchy striving to set us back? The cheaper pill will not replace safe sex! Why? Because it is still expensive. Economically it makes little sense to assume that women are going to replace a cheaper form of contraception such as condoms or even a free one such as the combined pill, simply because they can save £5 more on a tabooed embarrassing version. Society seems to think that women are lining up to have unsafe sex and to waste their money.

Perhaps women are having to use the morning after pill (and need a more affordable version of it) because contraceptive responsibility has been shoved into their hands. With new trends such as ‘stealthing’- removing a condom during sex- sweeping young men and encouraged by online forums, there is no wonder that young women may need emergency contraception. With more and more cases of rape erupting and strong pressure from young men to not use a condom (only 60% of teenage boys said they used a condom, as of 2013), maybe we should be focussing on teaching men to respect women and take sexual responsibility, rather then once again demonising young women for fixing a mistake which often is not their fault.


12th February 2018 at 9:00 am

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