The ProLife Alliance is very disturbed by the recent announcement by Boots Chemists that they plan to sell Levonelle, the morning after pill, via their website. This is a profit-motivated strategy with little regard for women’s health or any ethical considerations. Their standards’ director, Paul Bennett is quoted in the Daily Mail (14/8/2010) as saying ‘we are expecting this (web-based) service will be expanded to include emergency hormonal contraceptives – the morning-after pill.’
Rebecca Ng of the ProLife Alliance urges Boots to reconsider. As a trusted family chemist, they should not jeopardise the health of the public. With no health or age checks involved, there are serious dangers both for risk groups and for young girls who could access this drug. Internet sales could lead to people stockpiling the pills and then taking them incorrectly. Young girls would be able to bypass parents, who would have no knowledge of what they were doing. They would not have to prove how old they were so we could have very young girls buying the morning-after pill without a face-to-face consultation.
It is not fully understood how Levonelle works, but it cannot be excluded that it could terminate a developing pregnancy. As it is taken after sex, a conception may well have occurred. The morning after pill is inaccurately labelled so that those who take it will think it is an innocuous medication, not one which can take the life of an unborn child. The woman or girl will have no opportunity to consider this and may not realise that there are ethical implications to their online purchase. It will seem to be just another consumer product.
We encourage people to contact Boots with courteous complaints.
Boots Customer Care can be contacted as follows:
Telephone: 0845 0708090Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In writing to Boots Customer Care, P O Box 5300, Nottingham, NG90 1AA