Hungarian Government Obstructs Access to Morning-After Pill

Three Hungarian NGOs are seeking answers from the state health authority after it decided against granting over-the-counter access to a morning-after pill out of concern for women's health.

The Hungarian Women's Lobby, PATENT Association and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union have sent an open letter to the State Secretariat for Healthcare, questioning its determination that making the ellaOne morning-after pill available without a prescription would harm women.

Although the European Medicines Agency and the European Commission have voiced their support for making the ellaOne pill available without prescription, the recent announcement by the Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources makes clear that the pill will remain a prescription-only medicine due to concerns related to "patient safety."

The three organizations condemn the decision of the Hungarian government. The pill can be accessed without a prescription in 22 of 28 EU member states. Following the recommendation of the Commission, even Poland, which has very strict abortion laws, announced that it would remove the need for prescription. It seems Hungary is again swimming against the current, and putting the safety and health of Hungarian women at risk.

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