In Spain, the Constitutional Court first recognized the right to conscientious objection of a Sevillian apothecary who refused to sell the morning-after pill (MAP, or Emergency contraceptive pill, ECP), since he did not have it at your pharmacy for reasons of ideological freedom. The applicant was sanctioned by the Government of Andalusia with a penalty that the High Court nullifies now. The fine was 3,300 euros for failing to provide, in his pharmacy, the pill.
The Constitutional Court holds that the punishment violated the right to conscientious objection as an expression of ideological freedom recognized by the Constitution in its Article 16.1.
Given that the right to conscientious objection recognized by the Constitution to doctors, is also applicable to pharmaceuticals, the High Court concludes that the objection of doctors regarding abortion can also be extended to pharmacists when referring to “the dispensing duty of the so-called morning-after pill. ” In that sense, the judges of the Court affirmed in their judgment that there is a “parallelism” in the conflict of conscience of doctors and pharmacists. And this is stated in the resolution, because in certain cases the morning after pill (MAP) could cause pregnant women to have an effect that clashes “with the conception that professes the plaintiff about the right to life”.
Another important aspect is the fact that the suspended pharmaceutical was registered as a conscientious objector in the Official College of Pharmacists of Seville, whose statutes were approved by the Department of Justice of the Government of Andalusia in 2006. In those statutes, the conscientious objection is recognized explicitly as a “basic right of registered pharmacists in the exercise of their profession”.
Thus, and in view of the “special circumstances of this case”, the Constitutional Court concludes that the sanction imposed by the Government of Andalusia to the pharmacist violated his right to ideological freedom.
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