Polish Government to Limit Access to the Morning-After Pill

The Polish government wants to restrict access to emergency contraception. A governmental draft law approved on Tuesday, 14 February 2017 states that hormonal contraceptives will be available on prescription only, should the draft bill be discussed and adopted by the parliament. Since 2015, based on a decision of the European Commission, the morning-after pill ellaOne has been available over the counter all over the country.

Research conducted by Millward Brown among pharmacists shows that 84 per cent of the ellaOne buyers constitute people aged 18-35. Only 2 per cent are those under 18.

The draft banning OTC sale of ellaOne is being pushed through against the will of the majority of Poles. Research conducted in December 2015 by TNS Polska shows that the majority of respondents (53 per cent) supports free access to emergency contraception for adults.

The social support for emergency contraception is also confirmed by the results of a survey conducted by a pharmaceutical website. Among 2,254 Polish women, over 80 per cent voted in favor of OTC availability of the morning-after pill.

In an opinion on the issue that the Federation for Women and Family Planning sent to the prime minister and parliament, the organization strongly condemned the change of sale status of ellaOne, calling it an attack on women’s reproductive rights.