UK Pro-lifers Mount Legal Challenge To Morning-After Pill Decision

By Patrick Goodenough | July 7, 2008 | 8:09pm EDT

London ( - UK pro-lifers are mounting a legal challenge against a government decision earlier this year to make the "morning-after pill" available from pharmacists without a prescription.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children will within the next fortnight be given an oral hearing in the High Court in London, where it will ask permission for a review of the reclassification of the Levonelle-2 drug to make it available over-the-counter.

Because the pill "can cause the death of a newly conceived human being" it should be subject to abortion legislation controls, said SPUC's national director, John Smeaton. If those controls are not being met, he said, supplying the drug without prescription constitutes a criminal offense.

Pro-lifers challenge the view that the morning-after pill is an "emergency contraceptive."

"It is not accurate to describe [it] as a contraceptive because it can cause the death of a newly-conceived embryo," Smeaton argued.

"It denies distinct and unique human individuals their right to life, and we cannot stand back and let this deception continue without raising our voices to defend the truth."

Earlier this month, pro-life campaigners held demonstrations to protest a pilot scheme allowing pharmacies in Wales to give teenagers the morning-after pill free in an attempt to lower one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Europe.

A month earlier a similar scheme was introduced in parts of England.

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