Argentina: Morning after pills are now accessible to the public without any medical prescription.

In Argentina, women will no longer need a doctor’s note in order to obtain emergency contraceptives. The administration claimed it was removing an “important barrier” for individuals seeking abortions by making the morning-after pill more widely accessible.

Feminist organisations applauded the decision, viewing it as a sign of advancement in a nation with a predominance of Catholics.

Nevertheless, detractors claimed that the action demonstrated the “ineffectiveness of pregnancy protection”.

By addressing “challenges of access to medical care, contraception products, and awareness” faced by some, the policy, according to the health ministry, will help prevent accidental pregnancies.

In a nation where seven out of ten adolescent births were unintentional, according to official statistics, Vanessa Gagliardi, of the feminist group “Juntas y a la Izquierda,” said the measure will help “de-stigmatise” the morning-after pill.

The action was deemed concerning by the Argentine pro-life organisation DerguiXlaVida, which further accused the administration of essentially orienting itself towards “promoting abortive measures.”

According to the statement, the action was taken in acknowledgement of the “failure of preventing pregnancy and sex education.”

It’s the most recent illustration of advancements in Argentina’s reproductive rights, one of Latin America’s biggest and most prominent nations, and one in which the Catholic Church still wields considerable influence.

The country legalised abortions up to the 14th week of pregnancy in 2020, despite the Church’s pleas to senators to vote against the measure.

Only rape cases and circumstances involving the mother’s health were previously considered grounds for termination.

The “World Health Organisation (WHO)” claims that morning-after pills, also known as emergency contraception, prevent pregnancy by preventing the fertilisation of the egg when taken within 120 hours of unprotected sex, but that 12 hours is the optimum time frame for effectiveness.

The WHO estimates that emergency contraception, such as copper-bearing intrauterine devices and emergency contraceptive pills, can prevent roughly 95% of pregnancies when used within five days of sexual activity.

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