Pharmacists seek conscientious objection to handing out abortion drugs

Darragh O’Loughlin, Secretary General of the Irish Pharmacy Union has asked Health Minister Simon Harris to extend the right of conscientious objection to pharmacists who do not want to dispense abortion drugs.

“It is essential that such provisions be extended to all healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, and not only to medical practitioners in order to ensure that individual practitioners would not be compelled to participate in a procedure to which they have fundamental religious or ethical objections,” he wrote in a letter to the Minister.

“We are talking about conscientious objection, not conscientious obstruction,” he added.

Mr O’Loughlin said that in Germany, Spain and Portugal, which were all referred to by Minister Harris during the abortion referendum, abortion pills “are provided in hospitals or specialist clinics, rather than in a community setting”.