Shameless harlots of Britain can rest easily this holiday season: a British women's health agency is giving away free emergency contraception on Christmas and New Year's Day. Now, thanks to the efforts of the BPAS, any and all pregnancy related "12 Days of Christmas" parody songs can start with "On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a convenient and free dose of Plan B" rather than "On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a tragic unplanned pregnancy." Progress!

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) isn't giving away the emergency contraception to the women who give away the milk for free because they're overwhelmed by the spirit of giving. A spokesperson from the agency notes that January is the month when the most unplanned pregnancies are reported, and that sporadic closures of clinics and pharmacies over the holidays sometimes leave women with few options.


The BPAS is also debuting a service that allows women to obtain emergency contraception in advance and with less awkward face time. Rather than having to come into a clinic for an appointment, women interested in obtaining EC can talk to a nurse for 15 minutes by phone and then pick up their emergency contraception in person. Awkwardness avoided.

Predictably, anti-abortion groups in the UK are against giving women access to emergency contraception, worried that its very presence will cause panties to rend and penises to appear. Says a spokesperson for an organization called "Life,"-

If a woman has the morning-after pill at home 'just in case' she may be more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviour than she would normally — particularly over the festive period with the associated increase in alcohol consumption


The morning after pill typically costs around $39US, and BPAS officials hope that giving it away will encourage women who might be cash strapped to be proactive about preventing unplanned pregnancy. The number of annual abortions in the UK has been rising steadily in recent years.

Emergency contraception can be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, but is most effective if taken within 12 hours. Women who have it on hand can know that no matter who slides down their chimney or stuffs their stocking, they can keep on ho ho hoing around without worrying about pregnancy.

Good god are there ever a lot of Christmas themed double entendres.

Women offered free morning after pill at Christmas [AFP]