Poland president vetoes amendment that would increase access to contraception pills News
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Poland president vetoes amendment that would increase access to contraception pills

Polish President Andrzej Duda on Friday vetoed a proposed amendment to the Pharmaceutical Law that would allow young women aged 15 and up to purchase emergency contraception pills without a prescription.

The president’s office stated the reasoning behind the decision was “the will to respect constitutional rights and the standard of health protection of children.” The office also claimed that the decision came as a result of a petition signed by roughly 30,000 people.

Nevertheless, the rejection of the amendment by the president was considered by many to be inappropriate and unjust. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk wrote that the president had failed to take the side of women and that the government was going to implement “plan B.” The deputy culture minister of Poland stated on X that “superstitious and conservative ideology” had won over “science and women’s rights.”

Poland’s health minister said in an interview that the tablet would be available “on the basis of a pharmaceutical prescription” by a regulation the government is preparing. Discussions are being made with pharmacists and the Pharmaceutical Chamber. According to the regulation, pharmacists will not be able to protect themselves with a conscience clause.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends making emergency contraceptive pills available without a prescription as they are considered self-care intervention. According to the European Contraception Policy Atlas, Poland is one of the six worst-performing countries with regard to access to modern contraception, along with Hungary, Armenia, Cyprus, Turkey and Russia.