That little pill has again provoked religious fervour. As if we didn't have enough encroachments on our freedoms, Muslims are telling us we can't take the morning-after pill.
The latest lunacy is in Greater Manchester, where a couple, an adult couple, two grown-up people, Chris Mellett and Kay Walsh, went to a Sainsbury's pharmacy in Denton, and the Muslim pharmacist told them he wouldn't dispense the pill because it was against his religion.
Against his religion! Why on earth are these people allowed to work as pharmacists in this country if they can't do the job? Well, it's because the supine Royal Pharmaceutical Society allows the superstitious to refuse to do their job if they believe their chosen sky fairy believes it evil. To put it in more polite terms, as this story in the Manchester Evening News has it, "The society's ethics code says if the morning-after pill is against a pharmacist's personal, religious or moral beliefs they are within their rights not to supply it."
And to hell with the ethics of allowing people to buy what it is their lawful right to buy and what they expect to be able to buy when they go to a chemist's counter. If Sainsbury's really, really insist on allowing this individual to continue to work on their counter, why don't they just put up a big sign saying, "Mr So-and-so is our dispensing chemist today, so, if you wish to purchase certain products, tough shit"?
Kaye Walsh, a mother of two, said, "I was absolutely flabbergasted. I'm a 36-year-old woman, not a child. I respect other people's religions, but when it affects my life it's not on." And her partner, Chris Mellett, 29, said, "[W]hy should we be discriminated against because of someone else's religion? It's my right to buy that pill."
Walsh added, "Surely the pharmacist has a duty of care. If religion comes into it he should change his job."
Or just be fired.