Ministers braced for Pill defeat

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Indy Politics

Baroness Young, scourge of gay rights campaigners in the Lords, yesterday defended her campaign to take on ministers again, this time over the sale of the morning-after Pill.

Baroness Young, scourge of gay rights campaigners in the Lords, yesterday defended her campaign to take on ministers again, this time over the sale of the morning-after Pill.

The former Conservative leader of the Lords, a standard-bearer for traditional values, said she wanted to stop girls under the age of consent buying emergency contraception over the counter. "One can picture the scene: boy says to girl, 'Why not? You can get the morning after pill'," she said.

The new Pill went on sale through chemists on 1 January, but only to women aged 16 or over. But there are claims that girls under the age of consent have obtained it over the counter without checks.

Ministers want chemists to tighten procedures, but are horrified at the prospect that Lady Young might win the vote in the Lords tomorrow by rejecting the legislative order approving over-the-counter sales of emergency contraceptives. If Lady Young wins, the sale of the morning-after Pill over the counter would be banned immediately, and it is unlikely that the Government would be able to change the law before the next general election.

Superdrug, the High Street discount chemist, has abandoned plans to sell the morning-after Pill over the internet after protests from Health ministers.

Customers would have been charged £19.99 for the drug and £7.50 for delivery. That, says Superdrug, would not have happened until after a pharmacist had spoken to the customer by phone.

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