Jose Lopez Guzman, professor of the Department of Biomedical Humanities at the University of Navarre in Spain, said this week pharmacists can cite “scientific reasons” for “not dispensing the morning-after pill,” in keeping with Spanish law and with the Pharmaceutical and Deontology Code of Ethics.
During his speech at the 5th Symposium of the Spanish Association of Catholic Pharmacists, Lopez Guzman said pharmacists could appeal to “reasons of science,” which is the possibility of “questioning the appropriateness of certain treatments, based on their competence and technical qualifications, without having to appeal to conscientious objection.”
All pharmacists must have “freedom of conscience and responsibility for his actions; if these two elements are not recognized, the pharmacist could be considered a technician, but not a professional,” he said.
Lopez Guzman noted that the morning-after pill in most cases acts as an abortifacient, as it prevents implantation of a fertilized ovum.
Regarding the use of the pill by girls under the age of 16, he warned that there are no studies that show that it is safe, as the data that is available “is very limited.” The pill’s most dangerous effects require serious medical treatment, and women who take it are at greater risk for liver and pancreatic cancer and are subject to nausea and vomiting.