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Pharmacist's religious/moral objection to emergency contraception

(356 Posts)
lilly0 Wed 07-Feb-18 01:59:20

A while ago I went into Boots to buy the MAP. The pharmacist on duty wouldn't prescribe to me for religious reasons but pointed another pharmacy to me no biggy I thought but then I thought about it. Why would a pharmacist object to emergency contraception it isn't an abortion pill they don't seem to mind selling condoms and dispensing the pill ?
Is there any reason not to sell the MAP ?

AlmostAJillSandwich Wed 07-Feb-18 02:01:42

Because it kind of IS an abortion pill, in a way.
It is a "cure" rather than a "prevention".

silkybear Wed 07-Feb-18 02:08:50

thats terrible, they could at least find a different staff member not turn you away completely angry

Jaxtellerswife Wed 07-Feb-18 02:08:52

No it's not. It only prevents a pregnancy if it's taken in time, not one that's already there.

HPandBaconSandwiches Wed 07-Feb-18 02:13:26

I think that’s fine. The pharmacist wasn’t rude, and pointed out an alternative. The MAP doesn’t prevent conception (as in egg plus sperm), only implantation. Similar to the coil. So for some people it’s a stretch too far for their personal ethics. It’s not my view but I wouldn’t have a problem with the pharmacists actions.

StripySocksAndDocs Wed 07-Feb-18 02:13:48

Do you know for certain the same pharmacist does (as an individial) sell condoms or dispense the pill?

RoomOfRequirement Wed 07-Feb-18 02:23:57

Absolutely ridiculous. Don't choose that job if you cannot fulfill it, and definitely do not shove your misogynistic bullshit views onto other people.

Complain to the store management. What a twat.

RoomOfRequirement Wed 07-Feb-18 02:26:29

@JillSandwich the MAP is not an abortion pill, and certainly not a 'cure'. It will prevent a pregnancy from occurring in the first place but will not terminate a pregnancy. Please check your medical opinions are correct before writing them as fact.

MsHopey Wed 07-Feb-18 02:34:45

I also agree that if for moral/religious reasons you cannot fulfil the job, you shouldn't do it.
I have only needed a MAP pill once in my life.
For 7 years I had the implant and then the pill, we stopped to TTC, I did, and then had my little one.
I made an appointment to have my implant inserted once again, but the appointments were backed up and a month away, and ofc the bloody condom split. And because I had just had the LO, I was supposedly supper fertile. I wasn't careless and I definitely wasn't ready for another baby. I'd also had a C section, so I don't think my body was particularly ready for another baby.
Why should someone refuse me something that I am paying for and need and it realistically is there job as a pharmacist to provide?

Ivebeenaroundtheblock Wed 07-Feb-18 02:36:46

I’m sure I read this exact same post just a few months back.

araiwa Wed 07-Feb-18 02:42:40

up to them

another pharmacist sorted it for you, so there was no problem

InionEile Wed 07-Feb-18 02:45:22

Is there a legal basis for the staff member to do this? Does it come under the right of a private business to refuse service to any customer on any basis?

Companies have been sued for discrimination in the US for refusing service based on religious beliefs e.g. bakeries refusing to provide wedding cakes to gay couples but I don't know if that applies in the UK. Either way, you should complain to the pharmacy and have the staff member disciplined. They should have no right to impose their bullshit beliefs on others.

araiwa Wed 07-Feb-18 02:49:05

"Either way, you should complain to the pharmacy and have the staff member disciplined."

im sure the pharmacy are aware of this 100% and as long as the customer is directed to another pharmacist there is no problem

HicDraconis Wed 07-Feb-18 03:06:13

There is a legal right for hcp not to be involved in procedures that go against their moral code. A GP does not have to refer you for a termination if they don’t agree with them, but they must find an alternative GP who will make the referral for you.

That’s what this pharmacist has done - identified an alternate hcp who could provide the service needed. Emergency contraception is a very small part of her job so to say she shouldn’t do it at all is ridiculous.

laudanum Wed 07-Feb-18 03:09:21

I hate shit like that. Their religious morals and associated bollocks should not interfere with their job.

StarWarsFanatic Wed 07-Feb-18 03:16:07

There was a post about this in November:

The MAP isn't abortive it prevents pregnancy, but pharmacists are allowed to make a conscientious objection. I don't agree with it but it is their right.

LeslieKnopefan Wed 07-Feb-18 03:18:13

I can’t agree with those who says it’s up to them.

When you decide to do this job for a living you leave your judgement and religion at home and do your job!!

What if she had been the only pharmacist on or if that incident made the woman feel ashamed for asking for it?

Argeles Wed 07-Feb-18 04:26:55

I think that is an absolutely disgusting situation, and I’m sorry it happened to you op.

I don’t agree with it happening in any pharmacy, but for it to be allowed to happen in a huge British chain is just inexcusable.

Any Pharmacist applying for work at Boots should be told ‘we sell the morning after pill, if you don’t agree with it, find work elsewhere.’

What if someone else is in a similar situation and they can’t easily travel around to other pharmacies, or be able to find another pharmacy that sells it? Must they then have to be faced with waiting to get pregnant and have to organise an abortion, or possibly bring an unwanted child into the world - just because someone thinks their beliefs are superior to that person’s. Total bollocks!!!

I hope that you were able to access it eventually op.

Veterinari Wed 07-Feb-18 04:40:09

I’ve used the MAP but respect that pharmacists are entitled to their own personal ethics surrounding it’s use in the same way Doctors are.

The MAP works in several ways, one of which is to prevent implantation, and so for some people this is an ethical challenge in the same way that fitting a coil is. To suggest that someone should not do a job when they choose to abstain from a very small component of it on ethical grounds is ridiculous. I’m a Vet, I have an ethical objection to tail docking puppies and won’t do it even though it is legal hmm Does that mean I shouldn’t practice as a Vet as I ‘can’t do my job properly’?

The pharmacist was polite and directed you somewhere that you could get the help you needed. This is appropriate and professional.

MsHopey Wed 07-Feb-18 04:46:31

I don't think putting an animal with no voice through a painful and unnecessary operation is the same as supplying the MAP tbf.
As PP said, if people are unhappy with the MAP, if someone didn't take it this could lead to abortion or an unwanted baby that ends up not being cared for. Which is the lesser of the evils?

Ladyglittersparkles83 Wed 07-Feb-18 04:49:04

Being in the pharmacy industry for the last 15 years this is one of many things that piss staff off! Counter/dispensing staff are trained to and deal with many things and have countless painstaking sop's to sign to adhere company procedures. I personally think it's ridiculous to refuse on religious grounds and that it's allowed as an excuse, it's caused many arguments over the years and I think it's appaling turning a woman away or 're directing to another pharmacy it takes a lot for some women to come in and ask, and being told no can be discouraging and can put them off going elsewhere. If a pharmacy is offering that particular service and advertised as so then that service should be provided. I accept each to their own and respect everyone has an opinion, I've mostly come across the no supply issues with some locums and it dose cause a lot of grief it's a part of your job and your obligated to fullfill it

catwoozle Wed 07-Feb-18 04:52:05

I don't believe pharmacists should be able to object to supplying the MAP on the basis of their religious views. If they hold such views they should go and do something else. I hope someone brings a test case on the matter and the law is changed.

The most vulnerable women and girls in our society may not just be able to go to a different pharmacy.

MsHopey Wed 07-Feb-18 04:55:51

Imagine you are on a very low income. Can't get to a free clinic or a GP because it Saturday, walk to the closest pharmacy you have with your last bit of money for the MAP (They have recently lowered the price to make it easier for people to get on a lower income). And the pharmacist says no. They point you to a different pharmacy, which could be miles away, but they say it's an alternative and so not their problem.
What are you going to do? If you pay for a bus or taxi, you no longer have enough money for the pill.
And if you wait till Monday for a clinic, the pill is an awful lot less effective?
Things like this affect vulnerable peoples lives.

HicDraconis Wed 07-Feb-18 04:59:37

Should a GP noy be allowed to refuse to refer for procedures they don’t agree with? Should a surgeon not be allowed to refuse to perform a procedure they don’t agree with? Should a nurse be forced to care for a patient undergoing a procedure they don’t agree with?

Emergency contraception is a tiny part of the overall job in the same way termination of pregnancy is a tiny part of a surgeon’s job, or nursing staff. They have a responsibility to direct the patient to an alternative hcp, according to op the pharmacist did this - so non issue.

lilly0 Wed 07-Feb-18 05:00:28

Yes I went to Sainsbury's who were lovely it was a tad embarrassing being rejected by boots but I didn't let that put me off. I do worry about teenage girls they might be so mortified they wouldn't go back.

I thought the MAP is progesterone and works in the same way as the mini pill but in much higher doses stops ovulationand prevents sperm from swimming can pharmacists object to dispensing all hormonal contraception?
It normally wouldn't bother me but they were portraying the MAP as an abortion pill on the black mirror episode arkangel and it really pissed me off !!

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