The conscientious objection: debate on emergency contraception
The authors discuss the emergency contraception (EC) topic, assessing scientific and ethical aspects. The almost totality of the studies carried out tends to report on the use of drugs as an emergency measure to prevent pregnancy. However, it is not yet completely excluded that emergency contraceptives can induce medical abortion.
The debate on side effects of EC continues to be a highly emotional and controversial issue both for advocates who believe they will lower considerably the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions, and for opponents who believe that using emergency contraception amounts to an abortion. This latter hypothesis highlights the conflicting aspect of the conscientious objection to abortion of physicians and pharmacists.
This research work is aimed at investigating the emergency contraception issue, paying particular attention to the medico-legal and regulatory aspects of this subject. Particularly, the authors focus on the conscientious objection in order to assess, if any, legal protection for physicians and pharmacists who claim a right to conscientious objection. Inappropriate use of EC could be resolved through a registry of user. This registry, of course, would not have the intention of persecution, but would only serve to detect possible cases of subjugation, exploitation and harassment