Forget starting a new diet or other typical resolutions — the first act of the New Year for many women is to rush to the store for a “morning-after” pill.
A new study by Texas Tech University researchers discovered a large spike in such purchases of so-called “emergency contraception” just after New Year’s Eve.
The study was published this week in the British Medical Journal.
It collected sales figures for the over-the-counter drug Levonorgestrel from weekly marketing reports between 2016 and 2022 for women 15-44.
The result was the discovery of “a substantial increase” in sales of the drug — also known as Plan B or the “morning-after pill” — amounting to about a 10 percent hike, following the New Year holiday.
Interestingly, certain other holidays also registered noticeable increases in sales, “albeit to a lesser degree,” the study noted.
Coming in second place to New Year’s Eve was Valentine’s Day, followed by St Patrick’s Day and Independence Day.
Interestingly, there were some holidays that did not register increased sales of “emergency contraceptives:” Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. (Christmas was not studied, according to the report, and Thanksgiving was not mentioned in either category.)
All of the holidays that showed an increased need for morning-after pills “share some aspects of the elevated risks of unprotected sexual intercourse,” as the study termed it:
- Increased sexual behavior: The study cited a survey that indicated more than 70 percent of respondents “planned to put in extra effort to be sexual with their partner on New Year’s Eve.” Even the people the study termed “unpartnered individuals” reported “a good chance of engaging in casual sex on this occasion.”
- Decreased use of contraception during intercourse: The study noted most New Year’s celebrations “are commonly linked to increased alcohol consumption,” which, in turn, leads to couples neglecting or incorrectly using contraception.
- Increased rates of sexual assault, “during which contraception use is less likely.”
- Potentially limited access to contraception: Stores that close for the holiday “could limit on-hand contraception.”
The news media had some fun with the report, making jokes like the one in the New York Post, which chortled, “The new year will be coming in with a bang” and making references to”steamy findings” about “boozed up revelers.”
But it’s really no laughing matter. It’s a tragedy that such large numbers of people are stumbling through life with so little moral clarity.
Not surprisingly, coming from a secular U.S. university, the study included a reference to an implied need for greater access to abortion.
“As many states in the US have increased restrictions on abortion following the decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, emergency contraception represents an increasingly important option for prevention of pregnancy,” it opined.
But is that really the problem?
What about helping young people connect the dots between excess alcohol consumption and the increase in sexual assault and reckless behavior?
What about the huge numbers of young people who acknowledge they’re open to casual sex with virtual strangers, just because it’s New Year’s Eve, or St. Patrick’s Day, or (insert your personal favorite libation-filled holiday)?
Rather than issuing a call, as the study does, for retail stores to extend their New Year’s hours so revelers can stock up on contraceptives, maybe it’s time for churches, families and schools to recommit to building — and modeling — strong relationships and setting higher moral standards for ourselves and our children.
Now that would be a New Year’s resolution worth keeping.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.