THE Spanish Constitutional Court has ruled that pharmacies can refuse to sell the morning-after pill to women.
The case challenged a 2008 fine given to a pharmacy in Sevilla by regional health authorities after it refused to sell both condoms and the morning-after pill.
Spanish law requires pharmacies to provide both forms of contraception over the counter since 2009.
While the court upheld the penalty for not stocking condoms, it ruled that pharmacists cannot be legally obligated to sell a product that goes against their belief about the right to life.
The court took into account that the pharmacy owners are officially listed as ‘conscientious objectors’ to laws that they believe conflict with their beliefs.
Adela Asua, a judge on the court and dissenter to the ruling, argued that the right to ideological freedom should not excuse citizens from their legal and constitutional duties, and warned that this decision could lead to even more dangerous concessions.
The Junta has spoken out strongly against the court’s ruling, arguing that the decision endangers women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.