European Commission confirms: Member States may prohibit sale of ellaOne

Earlier this year there were reports that the European Commission had adopted a decision making it compulsory for Member States to allow the prescription-free sale of ellaOne, an abortifacient drug also known as “the morning-after-pill”. In several countries, such as Germany, these news provided a pretext for abolishing legislation that allowed the sale of the product only on the basis of a medical prescription.

Following a Written Question jointly submitted by not less than 15 MEPs, the Commission has now confirmed what we already wrote at the time: the controversial Decision in fact does not oblige Member States to allow the sale of the baby-killer pill, be it with or without prescription.

The Commission writes: “As concerns prescription, Directive 2001/83/EC provides in its Article 4 (4) that application of national legislation prohibiting or restricting the sale, supply or use of medicinal products as contraceptives or abortifacients shall not be affected.”  This means that Member States may restrict or totally prohibit the sale not only of products that, like ellaOne, act as abortifacients, but also of contraceptives.