SYDNEY, June 23, 2003 ( – The Australian government’s National Drugs and Poisons Committee gave initial approval to a proposal to allow pharmacists to distribute the abortifacient morning after pill to women without a prescription.  The decision last week to allow the drug company Schering’s Postinor-2 to be distributed over the counter will take force after a vote by the committee in October, leaving the public time to comment on the measure.  The news drew immediate criticism from the pro-life movement, the Catholic Church, and the Australian Medical Association (AMA).  Both the Catholic Church and the pro-life movement condemned the false advertising of the pill as a contraceptive rather than admitting it is abortifacient.  The AMA said it could be dangerous to skip a doctor’s prescription.  The AMA said the Committee’s decision, “has the potential to seriously impact on the health and well-being of Australian women.’  AMA President, Dr Bill Glasson said pharmacies are not the right environment for sexual health counseling.  See coverage from the Daily Telegraph and the AMA release:,5936,6637998%255E21302,00.html