Victory For Women In UK: Morning-After Pill Available Without Prescription

In January 2001, the morning-after pill will be available without a prescription for women ages 16 and up at local pharmacies throughout the United Kingdom. The pills’ availability is in part due to major governmental plans to halve teenage pregnancy rates by the year 2010. The laws governing the distribution of the pill requires a pharmacist to be present before dispensing the drug. The morning-after pill is a form of emergency contraception, a dosage of 4 pills taken in pairs 12 hours a part, which can be used to prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse. Yet this visible victory for women’s reproductive rights is without heavy criticism from anti-abortionists and other opponents. In a statement released by the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, the church condemned the government’s actions on lessening restrictions to the pills’ availability, citing that “to allow teenagers to buy this morning-after pill so freely and without a doctor’s supervision is misguided and potentially wrong.”

LEARN MORE Click here to read women’s narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.


The Guardian 11 December 2000, Electronic Telegraph 11 December 2000

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