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.
Ah no. If a woman comes to the pharmacy with a prescription she wants it filled. Not a chat with the pharmacist about her ‘contraceptive options’. pic.twitter.com/ukoO421LeF
— Kate Hunter (@katelhunter) June 11, 2021
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.
“Private counselling session” and “referring them to the relevant clinic” is NOT THEIR JOB.
You don’t know why they’re there. Maybe they’re in an abusive relationship. Maybe they had a one night stand they regret. Maybe the condom broke. That’s for doctors and therapists. pic.twitter.com/qkxYHHNPMf
— Voidra “The mask goes over your nose’ (@voidrantsback) June 12, 2021
Other people are concerned that this may give pharmacists an opportunity to lecture young women on their sexual choices.
How fucking dare they. This is pretty much what happened when the pill first became available, bible bashing chemists would give you a lecture or refuse to fill the script. Taking us back to the dark ages.
— ???? Hadda Gutfull (@platypusadmirer) June 12, 2021
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.