Acting as an agent of the Department of Health, The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) imposes a requirement for a compulsory consultation for women to get access to the morning-after pill. This frequently results in an intimidatory, judgmental and questioning experience for women.
The PSI also permits pharmacists to refuse to supply emergency contraception on the grounds of the 'personal moral standards of a pharmacist’.
A case has been highlighted recently of a woman who sought emergency contraception after being raped. She was subjected to a lengthy, invasive questioning experience in a pharmacy and then was refused the morning-after pill.
Access to emergency contraception should be provided on request. It should be provided with comprehensive related information, and with the option of a consultation, if the user chooses.
The morning-after pill should be available on the same basis as other health care products and the conscientious objection clause should be removed.
- We call on the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to introduce the legislative and regulatory changes required to make emergency contraception available from pharmacies on request, with consultations available as an option, for the user to decide.
- We also demand that the Minister introduces the legislation and regulatory changes required to ensure that the conscientious objection clause for pharmacists is removed.