Newspapers corrected over Pharmacists’ refusal to offer morning-after-pill
THE Pharmacists’ Defence Association has won corrections from two newspapers over a story which implied a Muslim pharmacist refused to give a couple the morning-after-pill because of his religion.
The organisation complained to the Press Complaints Commission about articles which appeared in The Manchester Evening News and The Daily Star which referred to an incident at a Sainsbury’s chemist in Lancashire in May last year.
The Pharmacists’ Defence Association complained that both articles inaccurately reported that a pharmacist’s refusal to provide emergency contraception to a couple was based on his “religious beliefs” and implied that this was because he was a Muslim.
The Association said that the pharmacist had – as allowed by the pharmacist’s ethical Code – declined to provide the service on “personal and ethical” grounds and had directed them to an alternative pharmacy despite receiving racist abuse from the man.
Responding to the complaint both the Manchester Evening News and The Daily Star published a correction to their earlier stories clarifying that “the refusal was made on moral, not religious, grounds”.