Just when everyone thought that the dust had finally settled and that life was getting back to being its quiet self again; the morning after pill reared its controversial little head once again.
The latest source of debate has been the announcement made by St. James Hospital; wherein they said that, on specific instructions of their chairman Dr. Josie Muscat, they will not be stocking the MAP on both conscientious and logistical grounds.
Such news came as a rejoice to groups such as Gift of Life – but to the rest of the (sane) country; this sounds more like a poorly timed April Fool’s joke.
However, before we delve into that, let’s take a look at the elephant in the room; the pill itself. The MAP comes in two different varieties; EllaOne and Levonelle . The main point put forward by groups such as the aforementioned and other Christian fundamentalists, is that these pills are abortive. When we say abortive, that means that the pill aborts the life of an unborn child. Funnily enough though, a brief google search merely reveals what has been said hundreds of times already in this debate; that the MAP pill IS NOT abortive. Why is that the case though? Because, put simply, the pill doesn’t kill anything. What it does is merely adjust the menstruation cycle, hence delaying ovulation. This means that the sperm waiting in the fallopian tube is unable to make contact with the egg and fertilise it. It’s actually the same principle as any other contraceptive method, such as the contraceptive pill and the condom – in that it merely prevents the sperm and the egg from meeting. Don’t let scaremongering religious groups tell you what to think – it is scientifically and medically proven that the MAP is not abortive.
That brings us back to Josie and his hospital. He is of the belief that the MAP is abortive, but I beg the question – how has he come to that conclusion? All the world’s recognised health authorities (WHO and the like) have said that the MAP is not abortive, and yet this doctor on some titch of an island in some titch of a sea thinks that it is. There are two options as to why this is so. The first is that Dr. Muscat has conducted ground-breaking research and proven the WHO wrong. The second is that Dr. Muscat’s decisions are governed by his belief in a 2000 year old book. Considering that no astonishing medical work has yet emerged on this matter from the Muscat laboratories – if they exist – I’m more inclined to believe the second option.
Which brings us to the next issue; what type of country do we live in if the religious beliefs of one man can be used as a prerogative to stop people acquiring legal healthcare. This is one of the biggest problems we have on this godforsaken rock. For some near psychopathic reason, everybody seems to think that the planet revolves around them and that their way of life is the only good way there is. Well, here’s a wake-up call, precious little snowflake, not everything revolves around how you think. You don’t agree with the MAP? Fair enough, you have every right to not agree with it. However, just because you disagree with it; it doesn’t mean that everyone else has to disagree with it as well.
Specifically to those who campaign against this pill, and who want to develop an app to find pharmacies who don’t sell the said pill; please enlighten us, how does this pill affect your lives? What difference does it make to you if it’s there or not? Don’t like it? Just don’t use it!! You are free to live as you wish, others are free to live as they wish. Live and let live. It is a simple concept; maybe you could get off your high horses and give it a try one day.
As for Josie Muscat? Not only is his rejection of the pill a kick in the teeth for the integrity of the medical profession; it’s also a kick in the teeth to women’s rights too. Because of course a 74 year old man knows what’s best for a woman’s health! But then again, what would one realistically expect from someone who said that “most men are provoked into domestic violence” eh?