Christian pharmacists face morning-after pill threat

A Government quango is questioning whether pharmacists should still be free to decline giving the morning-after pill.

The morning-after pill can cause an early-stage abortion.

Traditionally, it has been up to pharmacists to decide whether or not to give controversial drugs.

But now the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence is running a consultation that includes a question about scrapping the freedom of conscience.

There are concerns that this could be the start of yet another attack on the freedom to act according to religious beliefs.

Any removal of the freedom of conscience would affect a significant number of pharmacists, mainly Christians and Muslims.

It could mean that they might be forced to provide the morning-after pill or else risk losing their jobs.

When the morning-after pill was first approved for use in the UK, it was for ‘exceptional circumstances’ and available only with a prescription from a doctor.

Today the morning-after pill is increasingly available over the counter in pharmacies and online.

The Church of England says that many Christians would wish for their right to refuse emergency contraception to be preserved.

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