A Christian-run NHS GP surgery has attracted criticism for posting a notice warning that some of its doctors refuse to prescribe the morning-after pill to patients on grounds of conscience.
The message on the door of The Links Medical Practice in Mottingham, south London advises patients that if “a consenting doctor is not available” to prescribe contraception they should contact a local clinic or chemist.
One of the practice’s patients was so outraged by what she perceived as the influence of religion on healthcare that she has decided to leave. The patient, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Independent: “I know the law allows doctors to do this but I don’t think it should”.
Audrey Simpson, chief executive of the Family Planning Association, said other women should also think about leaving the surgery in response to the notice.
She said: “Leaving will send out a message to them that women have the right to access emergency contraception.”
According to General Medical Council guidelines, doctors can refuse to prescribe certain treatments as a matter of conscience.
The surgery could not be contacted for comment yesterday.