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Approval of Morning after pill draws criticism


Despite the objections of the Catholic Church and the AMA, the National Drugs and Poisons Committee made a preliminary decision last week to let pharmacists sell an emergency contraceptive over the counter.

The AMA objection is more concerned with the lack of counselling for over-the-counter sales. AMA President, Dr Bill Glasson, saying "access to these drugs should ideally take place in the context of a medical consultation that addresses the range of health issues relating to unprotected sexual intercourse".

Respect Life Victoria spokeswoman Marcia Riordan said the committee must not allow drug company profits to come before women's health.

"Postinor-2 is a potentially dangerous drug. Women deserve to know the full story about a drug that could be harmful to their immediate and long-term health," Ms Riordan said.

"Postinor-2 is massive dose of hormones, given as two tablets taken 12 hours apart. It could be likened to taking 50 "mini pills" at once and may cause significant immediate problems such as bleeding and nausea. There is no way of knowing what this could do to a woman's future health and fertility especially if taken regularly."

"Postinor-2 can cause an early abortion by preventing an embryo from implanting in the womb. The drug is often described as a contraceptive. But preventing the implantation of an embryo happens after conception. Women can't give their informed consent to using the drug without knowing this", spokeperson for the Australian Federation of Right to Life Associations said in a separate media statement released on Friday.

SOURCES – FULL STORIES:
The Australian
Respect Life Office, Melbourne Media Release
AMA Media Release
Right To Life Media Release

23 Jun 2003