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No prescription needed for ‘morning after pill’

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 14.01.2015 15:39
Poles will soon be able to purchase the controversial medicine over the counter following an EU ruling.
Foto: Wikimedia Commons

The ruling has polarised much of the nation with women’s rights activists thinking it is an important day for Polish females. “We do not want to be a bargaining chip on the political and ideological stage. Access to contraception is our right,” the Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning said in a statement.

This decision will have a positive impact on the country’s healthcare, said gynaecologist Romuald Debski. “Such a move solves several problems at once,” Debski told the IAR news agency. “It eliminates all unnecessary night queues for gynaecologists in hospitals, where people queue just to get a prescription.

“Women will be able to take ‘the morning-after pill’ at an earlier stage, and the sooner they do, the greater its effectiveness,” he said, adding that the pill is safe and does not cause serious side effects.

The other side of the coin

The EU directive was not without its critics, however.

“The availability of the so-called ‘morning after pill’ for sale without a prescription is an ideological action. It takes away people’s responsibility for procreation,” Fr Stanislaw Wawrzeszak, the chaplain of the national health care association.

In politics, the issue was also criticised by Poland’s largest opposition party, conservative Law and Justice (PiS).

PiS MP Anna Zalewska said that the European Commission directive was merely a “recommendation” and it was up to the individual governments to decide on whether to oblige.

"I'm surprised that the Polish government and the [Health] Ministry want to thoughtlessly submit to this decision,” Zalewska said.

Until now, Poland was one of five member states to ban the over-the-counter sale of medicine, which can be used as birth control if taken after up to a few hours after intercourse. (rg)

tags: Health, medicine
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