Pro lifers go to court to halt sales of the morning after pill
23 April 2001
Pro-lifers go to court to halt sales of the morning-after pill The hearing is set for some time after 10:30 on Wednesday (2 May) at the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London. Westminster, 23 April 2001--Britain's longest established pro-life group is asking the High Court to halt sales of the morning-after pill to women over 16 from pharmacists without a doctor's prescription. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has applied for an oral hearing before a High Court judge to seek permission to bring a judicial review of the reclassification of the Levonelle-2 morning-after pill. This drug was made available to women over 16 from pharmacists without prescription by way of a statutory instrument last year, taking effect on 1 January 2001. Mr John Smeaton, SPUC's national director, said: "We expect the hearing to take place very soon, possibly next week. We shall set out our case, which centres on the undeniable fact that the morning-after pill can cause the death of a newly conceived human being by preventing his or her implantation in the womb. Thus the morning-after pill can cause an early abortion, and should be subject to the controls set out in the 1967 Abortion Act. "We believe that the supply of the morning-after pill under this new regime constitutes a criminal offence under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. The 1861 Act prohibited the supply of 'any poison or other noxious thing ... with intent to procure the miscarriage of any woman, whether she be or be not with child'. "Parliament must be presumed not to have intended to facilitate any criminal act when it passed the statutory instrument to reclassify Levonelle-2, and we therefore contend that the secretary of state exceeded his powers when he made the Order last year which reclassified Levonelle-2." Mr Smeaton continued: "As an organisation which represents the many thousands of men and women in our country who respect the inherent value and dignity of human life from the moment of conception, we are morally obliged to oppose the wider availability of the morning-after pill which can cause early abortions. "It is not accurate to describe the morning-after pill as a contraceptive because it can cause the death of a newly conceived embryo. 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."