Well, we know what sort of conscience that is, don't we? It usually comes down to religion, of one sort or another.
I read this thing in the Scotsman about how women in Scotland are going to get easier access to the pill right across the nation.
The emergency contraception is set to be supplied for free in most of Scotland's 1,200 community pharmacies under changes to their contracts.
Last night, the plan was welcomed by sexual health groups and doctors. However, some campaigners expressed fears it could fuel rising rates of sexually transmitted infections.
Shona Robison, the public health minister, announced an expansion of services provided by community pharmacists at a conference in Glasgow.
As well as free emergency contraception, changes to the contract will lead to pharmacies providing smoking cessation services and free chlamydia testing and treatment. Some pharmacies already offer such services, but provision across Scotland is patchy.
Women can get the emergency contraceptive from their family-planning clinic or their GP for nothing, but, if they're unable to do this, at least they can by it, currently for £26.
But then they go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like how pharmacists can refuse to dispense it if they have a conscience thing about it. Why are they being given a licence to be a pharmacist if they then refuse to carry out what is expected of a pharmacist? It's a bit like going to have repairs done on your car, but the mechanic can't fix the hub caps because he doesn't believe in wheels. Or your general practitioner can fix your recurring headaches but has a sort of conscience thing about carbuncles.
You just know the Catholic Church is going to be quoted somewhere, and you're right. The paper says:
And last night, a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland said: "This gives the false impression that careless sexual activity is OK because there is always a fix. That message is likely to lead to more, not less, sexually transmitted disease and higher recourse to abortion."
You just know it's not sexually transmitted disease that is the spokesman's first concern, somehow. You just know it's that God thing – you know, how the sex act is not for enjoying but just for creating ever more offspring on a planet that's already creaking under the weight (environmentally speaking) of what it's got walking on its surface at the moment.
Do you ever hear journos – when they go for the obligatory quote from a man in a frock – take that up with Catholics who try to tell a woman how she should manage her own fertility? Like hell do you!