Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Hmm, I wonder if the Fundagelicals will protest this

I was actually doing some research for work when I came across this little tidbit about the folks at University of Kansas Medical Center trying to do some high through-put screening of compounds to be used as contraceptives by men. The screening is being funded by a $7.9 M grant from the NIH and is part of a 5-year contract that is a follow-up to a previous 4-year NIH grant UKMC received. Both parties hope to identify a non-hormonal chemical entity to roll into clinical trials at the end of the 5-year grant period. This is not the only foray into male contraceptive research, investigators at Australia's ANZAC Research Institute have already conducted succesful proof of concept studies of hormonal contraceptives for men.

Of course (future) access to safe and effective means of contraceptive agents to be utilized by men in no way should be taken as a reason to deny women access to contraception (hormonal or otherwise) for their own use. Even were an agent used by men 100% effective when used properly, there is no guarantee they will always be used properly or that the statement "trust me, I'm on the pill" should always be taken as the gospel truth. This, however, does level the playing field (so to speak) and allow both parties in an intimate relationship to play a key role in the responsibility of preventing unplanned pregnancy.

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