"The Pill" that has killed millions of unborn children. Image via Wikipedia
EUROPE/SPAIN - Citizen groups protest the sale of "morning after" pill over the counter: "a human and medical aberration" that "implies the establishment of unrestricted abortion"
Madrid (Agenzia Fides) – The statement issued on the morning of May 11 by Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez and Equality Minister Bibiana Aido, establishing the over-the-counter sales of the "morning after" pill (in Spanish, PDD), has been received with protests from a large number of citizen groups and associations. Until now, the PDD was restricted to the exclusive use in hospitals and "family planning" facilities. From now on, no medical prescription will be required for its purchase, nor will there be restrictions for minors. Jimenez estimates that within three months' time, the PDD will be available in all pharmacies. The decision is part of a governmental sexual and reproductive health plan. In fact, the new law for unrestricted abortion – which is entitled the "Sexual and Reproductive Health Law" - includes a clause on the prevention of unwanted pregnancies: formation, contraceptives, and the PDD.
According to the Minister of Health, the decision was made upon the consent of a "committee of experts and scientists," who have discovered that the consummation of the pill "has no secondary effects nor contraindications," although "its use should not be abused." As to the age, she affirmed that "as it will enter into the area of over-the-counter medicines, no age restrictions are necessary." Moreover, she affirmed that "there will be no problem with pharmacists," in distributing them in the pharmacies and mentioned that "once the government authorizes their sales, the pharmacies will be obliged to make them available." She likewise commented that "this question has no relation whatsoever to conscientious objection."
"Right to Live" ("Derecho a Vivir") spokesman Dr. Gador Joya immediately issued a statement recalling that "the so-called 'morning after' pill has the effects of an abortifacient" and therefore, this declaration "implies the establishment of unrestricted abortion" and "facilitates abortion in this manner for young girls, with neither parental knowledge nor consent," which is " a human and medical aberration." She also affirmed that the pill "does in fact have extremely serious secondary effects and contraindications," to the contrary of what the Ministers have commented. Thus, "over-the-counter distribution, to any age group, is a threat to women's health that will expose millions of teenage girls to a severe health risk, without their parents' knowledge." Dr. Gador says that not only will this not diminish the number of unwanted pregnancies, but it will increase them, as it will be used mainly by women of younger age groups as another contraceptive. It will also increase the number of sexually transmitted diseases, as the abortifacient will be used as a solution to prevent pregnancy. Thus, the association "Right to Live" is making an appeal to pharmacists "asking that they exercise their right to conscientious objection to the over-the-counter distribution of an abortifacient, and moreover, to any age group."
Manuel Cruz, Director of the "Fundacion Vida" (Life Foundation), has protested the act, saying that it "seeks one sole objective: promote the new Abortion Law. The goal is to reduce the registered cases of interventions and assume that the legal changes have helped reduce the termination of pregnancies, when the truth is that this [pill] is an abortifacient."
Dr. Jose Zamarriego, President of the Committee of Bioethics and the Spanish Society of Gynecology, has warned that the over-the-counter sale of the "morning after" pill shows "grave imprudence," as it will only serve to open the door to doctors, who will no longer have to prescribe medicines, but it also ignores the fact that the "morning after" pill should always be submitted to prescription as a result of the health risks involved in its consumption.
(RG) (Agenzia Fides 12/5/2009)