According to a survey by the FPA, only 37% of women aged 16-24 were taught about the morning after pill in school or college.
Glen’s organization makes sure that the young people they teach have learned about emergency contraception by age 14 to counteract myths and to make sure the young people know their rights.
Barriers to access is a big problem for young people, according to Glen. “There is a stigma around emergency contraception, but there are sometimes physical barriers as well,” he says, “we have no pharmacy in our local area which will let young people have emergency contraception.”
“They can go to a sexual health clinic, but it’s open 3 hours a week on a Thursday, so what if something happened on a Friday? You should be able to call your GP and get a prescription, but what if the young person is petrified that people will find out?”
The morning after pill has been around for a while, but attitudes are still stuck in the past. “We have a lot of examples of judgement towards young people for taking emergency contraception,” Glen says, “they’ll get the talk about how ‘you really need to be more responsible’ when they have no idea why the young person is asking for it.”
“The condom might’ve split. There’s nothing more responsible than using a condom and they can still split. If you’re accessing emergency contraception, you’re doing the responsible thing.”