Mon 18 May, 2020

Scottish Greens have called for measures to allow for the contraceptive pill to be made available free from pharmacies to be included in emergency coronavirus legislation. 

Currently the contraceptive pill can only be accessed for free with a prescription from a GP, however the party’s parliamentary co-leader Alison Johnstone MSP has claimed that the lockdown measures employed to tackle coronavirus have reduced access to contraceptives, a major concern at a time when many women are in more vulnerable situations. 

The Lothian MSP has tabled an amendment to the bill to introduce this change, which will be debated at committee stage on Tuesday. 

 Alison Johnstone MSP said: 

“Allowing pharmacists to issue the contraceptive pill free of charge would remove barriers for women who need to access contraception at this most challenging time. 

“The Scottish government has advised that people should think serious about starting a family during this crisis, so it is important that it makes access to contraception as easy as possible. 

“Ministers have already announced that the minor ailment service offered by pharmacies has been extended during the emergency period. Allowing women to access the contraceptive pill through this service would provide a great relief for many, while at the same time relieving pressure on frontline GP services.

“There is particular concern that many women are more vulnerable to domestic abuse, including coercive control, as the lockdown period continues and access to contraception must be part of the support made available for those who need it, when they need it.”

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