The federal government is being slammed for a new initiative that will offer counselling sessions to women needing the morning after pill or an early medical abortion.

In this new trial, pharmacists would ask women if they would like to take part in a private counselling session on birth control methods like the pill, IUD or implant.

The aim is to get the pharmacist to be proactive and reduce the number of accidental pregnancies among women and teenagers. However, the initiative has been dragged for failing to recognise the sensitivities women have around birth control.

“If a woman comes to the pharmacy with a prescription she wants it filled. Not a chat with pharmacist about her ‘contraceptive options,'” Kate Hunter explained on Twitter.

Other women agreed with Hunter and explained that it’s not the pharmacists business to be telling women about contraception. It should be discussion between a woman and her doctor.

Other people are concerned that this may give pharmacists an opportunity to lecture young women on their sexual choices.

These counselling sessions also ignore the fact that many women can’t use forms of contraception like the pill due to medical reasons. I am one of those women who can’t take the pill because of the mental health side effects. So, how about you invest that money into better contraception methods, rather than telling women about contraception methods they’ve already tried?

I understand the sentiment and perhaps this is meant for women who aren’t aware of their options. But this seems it’s more about preventing abortions, than it is about sexual health education.

Image: Getty Images / Peter Dazeley