Boots has reduced the price of the morning-after pill in all its pharmacies, with abortion giant BPAS claiming it is “good news for women”.
It comes despite a Christian doctor warning that the company is “encouraging more reckless sexual behaviour”.
Last July, Boots came under fire from BPAS and over 30 Labour MPs for refusing to make the abortifacient drug cheaper.
Chief pharmacist Marc Donovan said it would ‘incentivise inappropriate use’. But the chemist soon U-turned, saying it was “truly sorry” for its “poor choice of words” and agreed to look at cheaper alternatives.
Labour MPs, including former leader Harriet Harman and former shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, had written to Boots, demanding that it lowered the price.
Dr Peter Saunders, CEO of the Christian Medical Fellowship, responded at the time: “It is regrettable that Boots has capitulated in the face of political pressure and failed to support its chief UK pharmacist in his legitimate concerns.
“By appeasing this cartel of radical feminist MPs Boots is encouraging more reckless sexual behaviour and thereby exposing young people to an increased risk of sexually transmitted infections.”
After giving in to pressure, the chemist set a target of reducing the price in all of its pharmacies by October. But this has been delayed until now due to supply issues.
It had been selling the morning-after pill between £26.75 and £28.25 with competitors Tesco and Superdrug charging £13.50 and £13.49 respectively.
Boots has now said that it will be sold for £15.99 in all its stores.
A Boots spokeswoman added: “It was always our intention to ensure that when we launched this service it was done well, and with sufficient, sustainable supply so that women would be able to access it both now and in the future.”
Last June, Christian pharmacists were handed a major boost by new guidance recognising the “positive” role of religion.
Earlier draft guidance by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) could have forced Christians to provide access to abortifacient or hormone-blocking drugs.
The guidance was changed to say that: “Pharmacy professionals have the right to practise in line with their religion, personal values or beliefs”.
The changes were made after The Christian Institute threatened the GPhC with legal action and hundreds of Christian professionals raised objections. To learn more about it and biblical teaching on abortion, download our briefing.