The campaign is trying to reduce the numbers of unwanted pregnancies that traditionally increase at this time of year.
Women will be encouraged to claim their free ‘on-standby’ morning-after pill, which they can store away in their medicine cabinet, by filling in an online form.
The campaign will be promoted by posters emblazoned with the word ‘sex’ spelled out in Christmas lights, above which is written ‘Getting “turned on” this Christmas?’
Critics have described the campaign as a ‘cynical marketing exercise’. They have accused BPAS of trying to promote its services at a time when the demand for terminations is likely to rise.
The posters will encourage women to fill in a form online providing their name, address and telephone number and they will then be called back by a nurse who will carry out a 15-minute interview.
This will include questions to check women don’t have liver problems or other illnesses that may cause serious side-effects.
Nurses will also ask their age – although they will have no means to check. If a girl admits to being under 16 they will be encouraged to see their GP. If the woman is considered suitable the pills will be posted to her, in normal circumstances one at a time but some people may be able to request more.
However, the morning after pill was never meant to be used this way and, in fact, when it was introduced it was only to be given in exceptional circumstanes and given under the control of doctors.
BPAS said that last January the number of Women seeking advice about unwanted pregnancies was 15 per cent up on other months. Some 5,600 women contacted the charity during this month, although not all necessarily had abortions.