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Friday, 12 July, 2002, 05:32 GMT 06:32 UK
Row over pill sale at music festival
morning after pill
The decision to sell the pill has sparked a row
The Catholic Church has reacted angrily to plans to provide the morning after pill to music revellers at T in the Park.

The emergency contraceptive pill will be on sale this weekend when 50,000 people are expected to descend on Balado, near Kinross, for Scotland's annual music festival.

According to the company responsible the decision forms part of a health message.

But a Catholic Church spokesman said he believed the move did not have the revellers' best interests at heart.

T in the Park fan
Tens of thousands of fans will attend

Leaflets on health and safe sex, handed out at this year's festival by Schering Health Care (SCH), will advertise the Levonelle morning after pill.

The pill is an emergency contraceptive which can be used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex.

Scottish Roman Catholic Church spokesman, Peter Kearney said: "This is a cynical marketing exercise. It's about profits and money."

"It certainly isn't about young people's self esteem, their worth or long term health.

"That is secondary to cashing in on what will be a group of vulnerable people open to powerful messages."

However, the company defended it position and said its sole aim was to deliver sensible messages to all those people who travelled to T in the Park.

Dr Graham Barker of SCH said it was important to ensure everyone had a safe and enjoyable time.

'Good time'

"These are all good, sensible health awareness messages which I am sure will be useful and practical to people this weekend," he said.

"When all is said in done they are there to have a good time."

Jackie Nicholson of the Family Planning Association said it was "much better" to have such services on hand during the festival and provide advice to people rather than allowing them to "wait and worry".

Organisers of this year's event have said they plan to make a number of changes to the way the different stages are organised with a view to giving bands more exposure.

Oasis and the Chemical Brothers are among the headline acts as the event enters its ninth year.

See also:

07 Apr 01 | Scotland
27 Dec 00 | Scotland
11 Dec 00 | Health
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