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Vic. Govt to oppose restricting Morning-After Pill

The Victorian Government would block any attempt by Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott (pictured) to return the morning- after pill to prescription-only status, according to State Health Minister Bronwyn Pike in a report in the Melbourne Age yesterday.

Mr Abbott told the paper last week that he wanted to reverse the National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee recommendation that made the emergency contraception available without prescription, from January 1.

Mr Abbott has cited concern about media reports that 13-year-old girls were requesting the drug at pharmacies. But Ms Pike said she had not seen any evidence that the drug's increased availability encouraged promiscuity

Ms Pike said: "I think the scheduling committee has made their decision on the basis of a very wide range of evidence. I think that's the right decision."

While use of the morning- after pill, called Postinor-2, was not ideal, Ms Pike said it was sometimes necessary.

Catholic pro-life groups and Church leaders have been heavily opposed to the availability of Postinor-2 particularly without prescription. The Australian Medical Association has also been strongly opposed to the sale of the drug without prescription from a doctor.

The Age – State to keep pill over the counter

Sydney bioethicist interviewed by Zenit on Morning After Pill (CathNews 7/6/04)
Morning-after pill sold by a beauty consultant (The Sun-Herald 30/5/04)
Cardinal calls for end to morning after pill for under-16s (The Herald 31/5/04)
Cardinal says rape does not justify morning after pill (CathNews 6/5/04)
Bishop Fisher calls morning after pill a "cop out" (CathNews 14/11/03)
Fact Sheet: Postinor-2 morning-after pill (Australian Federation of Right to Life Associations) | Alarm over approval for sales of Postinor-2 morning-after pill without prescription - 20 June 2003
Beware the health risks of an over-the-counter morning-after drug (Online Opinion)
New Emergency Contraception available (FPA Health)
Making Emergency Contraception Easier to Swallow (Family Planning WA)
Sex and the Holy City (ABC Radio Religion Report)
Sex and the Holy City (Transcript of BBC documentary)
Archdiocese of Sydney | Life Office

21 Jun 2004