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Other experts referred to the danger that, if the state runs a fami:y planning campaign, social aid might come to be made conditional on accepting state sterilisation nheasures. And they quoted Pope Pius Xll's address to midwives in 1951:
"It would be very much more than a mere lack of readiness in the service of life, if the man's attempt affected not just a single act but the organ itself, in order to sterilise and deprive of the faculty of procreating a new life."
The sterilisation question crops up at a time when a good deal of disquiet is being aired in regard to oral contraceptives. Family Planning clinics started this week to issue the new birth control pills. and these are also available bs prescription on the National Health Service.
Anxiety about the serious delayed effects which these pills may produce has been voiced by Sir Charles Dodds, the leading authority on the type of drugs the pills contain.
They interfere with the delicate balance of the body's hormones, powerful gland products circulating in the blood stream, and our knowledge of this balance is meagre, says Sir Charles.
And at the December meeting of the General Medical Services Committee, doctors urged that the pills should not be supplied on National Health for purely contraceptive purposes.
One doctor said that the decision to prescribe them should fall into the same category as abortion. Another doubted the claim that they are harmless. A third argued that, although the drug had appeared to be safe over a six year trial, many gynaecologists were worried about the possible effects on the uterus after 25 or 30 years.
Even the family planners who dissent from this attitude are administering the pills only with the severest precautions.