Trainee sexual health doctors and nurses can refuse to provide emergency contraception if it is against their religious beliefs, according to new guidelines.
This comes after opposing organisations accused the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) of discriminating against Christian doctors who may be pro-life.
Guidelines have therefore been updated that allow trainee medical staff to opt out of prescribing emergency contraception providing alternative arrangements can be made and there is no judgement towards patients.
President Dr Asha Kasliwal, president of the FSRH, said: ‘The heart of the new guideline is that we welcome members with a range of views, and we will award the relevant qualifications to those who fulfil all training requirements and are willing to show that they will put patient care first, regardless of their personal beliefs.’
Around six per cent of women in the UK use emergency contraception every year, particularly those in their 20s.