By Gudrun Schultz

EDINBURGH, United Kingdom, September 15, 2006 ( – Promoting the use of emergency contraception has not decreased the number of pregnancies or abortions, a family planning expert has announced.

Anna Glasier, director of the Lothian primary care NHS trust in Edinburgh, said several studies, including one she directed, have shown that easy access to emergency contraception has failed to have an impact, the Guardian Unlimited reported. In fact pregnancy and abortion rates continue to rise in the UK, which has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in Europe.

“Despite the clear increase in the use of emergency contraception, abortion rates have not fallen in the UK. They have risen from 11 per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in 1984 (136,388 abortions) to 17.8 per 1,000 in 2004 (185,400 abortions),” Glasier wrote in the British Medical Journal. Sweden’s rates show the same pattern of climbing rates.

Emergency contraception in fact increases the number of unrecorded abortions taking place, Mary Ellen Douglas, for Campaign Life Coalition told The Morning After Pill acts as an abortifacient if a woman has already conceived by the time she takes it.

“The fact is, if the pill is taken once the egg has been fertilized, it will prevent the baby from attaching to the side of the womb and the child will be aborted,” Douglas said.

In addition to increasing abortion rates, the pill is dangerous to women’s health, Douglas pointed out. The hormone dosage women receive in a round of emergency contraception is double that of regular contraceptive medication.

“Obviously MAP doesn’t work. If women are promiscuous they are taking the pill several times a month and endangering their health—and it doesn’t decrease abortion rates—they should stop distributing them,” Douglas said.

Teenage pregnancy rates in Britain reached 41.5 per 1,000 girls age 15-17 in 2004, the Guardian reported. Of those pregnancies, 46 percent ended in abortion.

Britain has seen a recent push to make MAP accessible to girls as young as 12 in over the counter sales, as well as a government decision to reduce sales tax on the drug.

See related LifeSiteNews coverage:

Early Abortion Drug Available Over the Counter

MAP to be Given to British Girls as Young as 12