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Page last updated at 07:55 GMT, Friday, 28 November 2008
Morning-after pill given out free

Contraceptive pill
The morning-after pill normally costs about 26

Women are going to be offered the morning-after pill in advance during the run up to Christmas.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) will prescribe the emergency contraception for free in England and Wales.

Buying it over the counter usually costs around 26 from a high street pharmacy.

The charity says the closure of family planning clinics, pharmacies and GP surgeries over the holidays means women can risk an unintended pregnancy if a condom splits, they forget to take a pill or they have unprotected sex.

But some people are saying it could lead to more women having unprotected sex.

Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of the BPAS, said: "Sex isn't always planned or prepared for.

"It's easy to get carried away, which is why we advise women to back up their birth control by keeping the morning-after pill at home.

"You don't wait until you get a headache to buy your pain relief. Why wait until you've risked pregnancy to get the morning after pill?"

BPAS says providing the pill in advance is the best chance women have of avoiding pregnancy.

There's a 72-hour window to take the pill, but it can be up to 50% more effective if taken within the first 12 hours after unprotected sex.

The people that Newsbeat spoke to had mixed views on the idea.

One woman said: "They're given a reason for them to have sex without a condom or any source of protection by giving them the morning-after pill in advance."

However, another woman thought it was a positive move: "I think it's a good thing in terms of accessibility. If people want to take it then I don't see there's anything bad with giving it to them in advance."

The pill will be available from the charity's clinics in Birmingham, Bournemouth, Brighton, Cardiff, Coventry, Leeds, London, Luton, Peterborough and Swindon over the Christmas season.

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