Discussion: morning-after pill available without prescription

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The morning-after pill EllaOne should soon be available above the counter in pharmacies in European Union countries.

This was decided by the European Commission and is leading to a big discussion in several countries in these days.

It started with the recommendation of the European Medicines Agency to sell EllaOne without prescription in European countries in November 2014.

Soon after that the European Commission decided to follow this recommendation, effective from the 1st of January 2015.

But this doesn’t mean, that it is now available in all Eu member countries, as the countries still have the freedow to make restirctions in the sell of the pill by themselfes.

Mainly Hungary, Italy, Poland and Germany were struggeling on wether to do restrictions or not.

Hungary already decided to keep the morning-after-pill as a prescription medicine.

In Poland and Italy ethical and religious arguments are keeping the government from agreeing to the European Commissions decision.

The pill would make over-the-counter abortion possible without the needed ethical guidance by a doctor, argument the Union of Catholic Italian Pharmacists , concerning The Independent.

This argument is considered as wrong, as EllaOne is just perventing pregnancy and is not doing abortion.

In Poland the worries are also about the effect the easy access of the morning-after pill could have on the responsilbiltiy people have for their sexual actions.

This could “open the door to significant changes in cultural attidudes and relationships between people”.

However, as it seems now, at least Poland and Germany will follow the decision of the European Commission.

By Babette Jochum