Page 1, 11th July 1975

11th July 1975
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Page 1, 11th July 1975 — ew FPA head once abortion law reformer
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ew FPA head once abortion law reformer

THE NEW Family Planning Association chairman was parliamentary officer for the Abortion Law Reform Association during the campaign to pass the 1967 Abortion Act.

Mr Alistair Service, 42, described as a publisher and writer, was co-founder and chairman of the Birth Control Campaign, which listed abortion as a method of birth control.

lc remains an advisor to its successor, the Birth Control 'Trust, whose latest pamphlet, 'The Pill off Prescription,' suggests, in a foreword by Professor Peter Huntingford, that oral contraceptives should he directly available to the public without a prescription.

The Birth Control Trust. founded by members of ALRA. has recently moved in to offices in the FPA headquarters in Mortimer Street, London. Dr Michael Smith is co-author of The Pill off Prescription' which suggests nurses, midwives and health visitors be allowed to distribute oral contraceptives. He is chief medical officer of the EPA.

Syhille Clayton, FPA press officer, said Mr Service would follow FPA policy, which follows the advice of the medical profession that the pill he available only on prescription.

Mr Service, on his appointme.nt as chairman, said "the basic aim of the FPA is by no means achieved while we still have an estimated 250,000 unwanted pregnancies each year." Half this figure comes. from recorded abortions the rest from illegitimate births and births to girls under 16 and births after 'shotgun' marriages.

Though the birth rate in the second quarter of this year has dropped to that approaching a stable population, he believes this is only temporary. "There will he an increase in the number of women corning into the fertile age range in the near future due to the bulge in births in the late 1950s, which will probably lead to an upward trend in births," he said.

He added: "Even given a stable population we must not lose sight of the fact that we already import more than 50 per cent of our foodstuffs and raw materials." He believes the EPA needs to "concentrate on getting information to young people in a variety of ways as well as through orthodox methods if we are going to get to the places where unwanted pregnancies are still happening," He would like to see the Association's Grapevine scheme extended. In this young people make contacts among North London youth and advise on sexual problems. This week, under a headline 'Sex help at Pop Festival' the FPA said eight Grapevine workers were kept busy at Knebworth Park pop festival in Hertfordshire.

Population Countdown, sponsored by the PTA, is reported in the Association's latest annual report as having studied sexual behaviour, looking at "the way in which the established norms of society affected these (sexual behaviour) decisions and at possible ways in which these norms might need to be altered as a result of the changing cir cumstances in society ."




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