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The morning-after pill and the president's veto. Minister of Health Izabela Leszczyna comments in #BezKitu

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I believe that President Duda shot himself in both knees today – said Health Minister Izabela Leszczyna in the #BezKitu program, commenting on the president's veto on the amendment to the law on the morning-after pill. She announced that after the holidays, the draft regulation would be submitted for public consultation. – I am sure that, as I promised, the morning-after pill will be available from May 1 – she added.

President Andrzej Duda vetoed the amendment to the act providing access to the morning-after pill without a prescription. Since July 2017, morning-after pills in Poland are available only by prescription. The amendment to the Act on emergency contraception passed by the Parliament on February 22 provided for access to pills for people over 15 years of age without the need to present a prescription.

Presidential Minister Małgorzata Paprocka explained on Friday that the president, when making the decision, “listened to the voices of parents, which were received in a large number of correspondence.”

See also: President's veto on the morning-after pill

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Health Minister Izabela Leszczyna, speaking on Friday on TVN24 about Plan B, noted that “we have a regulation prepared.”

– We anticipate that in the pharmaceutical care formula, after a pharmaceutical consultation, the pharmacist will be able to issue such a pharmacy prescription and issue the tablet to the woman – she said.

In the #BezKitu program she said that consultations have already been held with the Supreme Pharmaceutical Chamber and pharmacists on this matter. – In the week after the holidays, which begins on Tuesday, we are submitting the regulation for public consultation. I am sure that, as I promised, the morning-after pill will be available from May 1. This, contrary to false opinions spouted by PiS politicians, is not an abortion pill. This pill is intended to prevent conception, she said.

Minister of Health: the president shot himself in both knees today

– There is no embryo, no miscarriage, no abortion, so the pill is also a safe pill. I believe that President Duda shot himself in both knees today. First of all, by making access to safe emergency contraception more difficult, he opened the door to illegal abortion, and I think he didn't want that. Secondly, he pissed off women, and that (…) is not good for any politician, said the minister.

– Moreover, the president showed ignorance, which was proven by experts, doctors, including the president of the Polish Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, Professor (Piotr) Sieroszewski, because the president is threatening with some kind of hormone bomb. Meanwhile, there is a small dose of hormones that is not harmful at all, even for a young woman, she added.

Leszczyna also said that, in her opinion, the president's reference to concern for underage women who could take the pill is a “sure excuse.” – This act was created for women, because 98 percent of all tablets sold last year, i.e. almost 100,000 tablets were bought by adult women. Only 2 percent These were girls between 15 and 17 years old, she said.

Read also: The president vetoes the law on the morning-after pill. Leszczyna on “plan B”: we have a regulation prepared

Availability of morning after pills

Morning after pills are widely available in Polish pharmacies. However, since 2017, you need to present a prescription to purchase them. This prescription does not have to be issued by a gynecologist. However, including morning-after pills on the list of medicines sold with a prescription requires not only the need to contact a doctor before purchasing them, but also the possibility that the pharmacist may refuse to dispense them. However, it should be emphasized that this can only happen in situations strictly defined by law. Invoking the conscience clause by a pharmacy employee is not one of such grounds.

Read also: How does the morning-after pill work?



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