Don’t restrict women’s contraception rights through moral panic | Artificial intelligence
IT IS tempting to think that people who entrust their family planning to an app that uses body temperature to work out when they are fertile deserve all they have coming. Certainly the app Natural Cycles, recently approved as a form of contraception in the European Union and the US, has been controversial, especially after it was linked to several abortions in Sweden last year (see “No contraceptive is perfect, but can you trust apps to stop pregnancy?”).
Women may fail to heed the app’s warnings on fertile days, or the app itself may sometimes get it wrong. But all contraceptive methods fail: pills get forgotten, injections missed and condoms skipped. The average effectiveness of most contraceptive methods is usually considerably lower than “perfect use” effectiveness.
What’s clear is that Natural Cycles works pretty well for at least some women. Hormonal contraception is still likely to be the best option for many, but those who have had side effects or who baulk at chemically altering their bodies have a right to seek alternatives. Abortion is a separate issue – it should not be used to generate a moral panic over a genuine advance for free choice.
This article appeared in print under the headline “The right to be natural”
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