Muslim pharmacist refuses to sell morning-after pill

A Muslim pharmacist is under attack for refusing to sell a couple the morning-after pill because of his religion.

Pro-choice groups are furious that he left Kaye Walsh, 36, and Chris Mellett, 29, in the lurch.

Marie Stopes spokesman Anne Quesney said: “We’re outraged. It is not up to any practitioner or pharmacist to impose their own beliefs on their patients.”

The couple, from Droylsden, Manchester, went to Sainsbury’s for emergency contraception, but the Muslim worker turned them away just 15 minutes before closing time.

Recruitment worker Kaye, who has a son, 17, and daughter, five, from a previous relationship, said: “I’m a 36-year-old woman, not a child.

“Surely the pharmacist has a duty of care? If religion comes into it he should change his job.”

The couple were caught out after their usual form of contraception failed. A day’s delay can make the pill less effective.

Angry Chris added: “Why should we be discriminated against due to someone else’s religion?”

Sainsbury’s said all their pharmacists are governed by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, whose ethics code says that if the morning-after pill is against a pharmacist’s personal, religious or moral beliefs they are within their rights not to supply it.

• Original title: Muslim chemist pill ban

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday May 23, 2008.
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