Abortion services warn emergency contraception should be free after Boots controversy

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Abortion providers have warned that emergency contraception should be free in the UK as Boots faces severe criticism for raising its price.

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Politicians and campaigners called on the pharmacy giant not to double the price of emergency contraception when their “Black Friday” weekend discount expires.

But Boots ignored demands to end the “sexist surcharge” with its cheapest emergency contraceptive, called levonorgestrel, which after previously costing £8 is now £15.99 again. This is radically more expensive than £3.49 Chemist4 for which you sell the same brand of contraceptive.

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Catherine O’Brien, associate director of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), Britain’s largest abortion provider, told Granthshala Emergency contraception should be free.

She said women can obtain free contraception through the NHS, yet are unable to obtain emergency contraception as she questioned why there is disparity.

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Ms. O’Brien said: “It’s really disappointing. Shoes are the biggest pharmacy in this country. They present themselves as being on the side of their customers. Take their ‘Come here girls’ ad.

“It’s really a straightforward thing they could do. It’s just right for it to work. When women struggle to get emergency contraception that leads to an unplanned pregnancy and that leads to an abortion in BPAS.” There are more women.

“No woman wants an abortion. It’s a much more difficult process than taking the emergency contraceptive pill. Seventy-five percent of people live within 10 minutes of a boot. I don’t know if within 10 minutes of a sexual health clinic How many people live there?”


It is as if everyone over the age of 25 who wants to get pregnant or is able to fully use contraception or contraception cannot fail them. It’s almost like you don’t deserve free service because you did something wrong

Catherine O’Brien, British Pregnancy Advisory Service

She argued that there is a great deal of “stigma and shame” surrounding the contraceptive emergency because it is unfairly and unjustly associated with casual sex.

“It is seen as this marker of failure,” Ms O’Brien said. “It is seen as a symbol of the Walk of Shame and One Night Stand.”

But the campaigner argued that many women in long-term relationships still regularly need emergency contraception when their usual method goes wrong. She said it used to be easy to access emergency contraception for free through special plans, but many of these now only make it available to women under the age of 25.

“It feeds into the narrative of who it is for,” she said. “It seems that everyone over the age of 25 who wants to get pregnant or is able to fully use contraception or contraception cannot fail them. It’s almost like you don’t deserve free service. Because you did something wrong.”

While emergency contraception is free if you access it through GPs and sexual health clinics, the BPAS warns that it is an impractical option for many women due to the difficult and slow arrival of appointments. The abortion provider said this is especially true in the wake of both the Covid crisis and cutting public spending, which long preceded the pandemic.

Ms O’Brien argued that it is particularly important that women are able to access emergency contraception at this time because of the widespread disruption of contraceptive services due to the public health crisis.

Granthshala has often reported how the pandemic has severely disrupted access to contraception, forcing services to close or run fewer clinics, while staff are moved to work with COVID patients. is or is forced to self-isolate.

Women have struggled to find the most effective long-acting reversible contraceptive option (LARC) of a coil or implant, as it requires face-to-face appointments, which have been greatly reduced Because consultations are done remotely through phone or video call.

Ms O’Brien said: “As a result more women can become dependent on the contraceptive pill and miss a pill or get sick and need emergency contraception. It’s really important to have that backup option of emergency contraception “

He warned domestic abuse victims, women in low-pay precarious zero-hour jobs find it particularly difficult to afford emergency contraception – adding that BPAS regularly hears from women who can’t afford it. can.

A group of Labor MPs in front of Diana Johnson wrote a letter to Sebastian James, managing director of Boots UK, demanding that the chain not end the Black Friday deal on emergency contraception.

Dame Johnson said: “It is extremely disappointing that high-street giants continue to impose a sexist surcharge on emergency contraception.”

Other brands of emergency contraception for sale on Boots’ website cost as much as £28.25 and £34.95.

A Boots spokesperson said the Black Friday promotion was 50 percent off all men’s and women’s private health services.

The representative added: “It is not usually possible to maintain significant discounts over the long term. Our pricing model takes into account the expert clinical advice and consultations we offer with these services and prices are in line with other high street pharmacies.” Huh.

“The morning-after pill is available for free in many NHS settings, including Boots Pharmacies which have been commissioned by the local NHS CCG to provide such a service.”

comes after Granthshala It was previously learned that thousands of women have had abortions after becoming pregnant while having difficulty accessing contraception during the pandemic.

Journalist Rose Stokes, who first shed light on Boots’ “Black Friday” deal, warned that “women and those who conceive are much better” as she urged Boots to “do the right thing”.

“For too long, Boots and other pharmacies have been profiting from women in need by charging exorbitant prices for basic health care,” she said.

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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