It's hard to belive that just over a decade ago, the morning after pill was illegal on Irish shores.
While it was legalised in 2003, it has only been available from your local pharmacy since 2011, with a consultation.
According to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), the morning-after pill should be available to buy straight from pharmacy shelves without the need for a private patient consultation.
that the morning after pill can't be given without a "discussion with a pharmacist" is archaic
— Em (@EmilyHunnybun) November 29, 2016
These consultations usually consist of a short meeting to discus general details, allergies, and contraceptive methods, according to one pharmacist.
The price of these pills comes in at about €35, the highest price in Europe, and according to the BPAS "women are paying the ultimate sexist surcharge on their sex lives,"because of the inflated price.
The emergency contraceptive is available on the medical card, but only after a GP visit to procure a prescription.
The morning-after pill is safe. So why is it so difficult to access?
— Casandra Ostler (@CasandraOstler2) November 30, 2016
"This is neither right nor fair," says the BPAS.
"It is utterly stupid that we have made a medication which gives women a second chance of avoiding an unwanted pregnancy so hard to obtain,” said Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS.
BPAS is calling on the Department of Health to reclassify the morning-after pill as a general sales list drug, which would allow people to buy it directly from shop shelves like condoms.
Difficult + expensive to buy morning after pill bc of moral, not medical, reasons. The absolute (nanny) state of it https://t.co/RkYNLXTDrj
— Nosheen Iqbal (@NosheenIqbal) November 30, 2016
“There is no financial justification for the high price of this pill, nor clinical reason for a consultation before it can be sold," said the chief executive.
According to the BPAS, eliminating the need for the consultation could drive down the price of the pills.
The price of the pill has been branded as "sexist," after one Pharmaceutical Journal report said that the price was to ensure women wouldn't take the pill often.
"The price has been set, in part, to ensure that EHC is not used as a regular method of contraception," it read.