Irish woman claims pharmacist refused emergency contraception following rape ordeal

Irish woman claims pharmacist refused emergency contraception following rape ordeal

AN IRISH WOMAN has spoken out about a pharmacist who accused her of lying over being raped when she asked for emergency contraception. 

Under Irish legislation, the morning after pill prescription is based on conscientious objection, meaning following a consultation, a pharmacist can agree or decline to prescribe the pill.

Sarah* said she had presented at a large chain pharmacy to get the morning after pill the day after she was raped by a schoolfriend in his home.

She told Neil Prendeville on Cork's RedFM she was in her friend's house when he tried to kiss her, but she declined and said she didn't think of him like that.

He then made to get a beer, but when he stood up he grabbed her legs and pulled her to the floor.

Knowing she was recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident and couldn't fight back, he then raped her.

After the ordeal, he went upstairs and Sarah left the house and went straight to the Garda Station to report the incident.

She said that the male garda first asked her, 'Have you consumed any alcohol tonight?'

"As if that would justify what he had done," she told the programme. "It should be irrelevant, I was on strong painkillers at the time and had two mouthfuls of a bottle of Miller, that's all."

"For me [being asked that question] it was discrediting anything I was about to say."

The following day, the then 24-year-old went to the pharmacy to get the morning after pill, and was brought into a consultation room where she explained what happened to her.

Sarah then claimed the pharmacist said: "'If you're going to lie to me, I can't help you.'"

She then left the pharmacy without the morning pill and said the experience had such an impact on her she couldn't bring herself to speak about the rape anymore.

"After that, I wanted to talk to someone about the rape, but I couldn't get the words out anymore."

She said she then locked herself away in her bedroom, and found out she was pregnant two and a half months later.

"I pretended it didn't exist until I couldn't anymore," she said.

To cover the €1100 cost of the procedure in London, Sarah had to wait to have two months payment from work.

At four months pregnant, Sarah went to a clinic in London to have an abortion.

"The one thing I had thought of was how to get it out of me, and I would have done anything.

"It's not that I don't want children," Sarah said. "I'd like to have children on my own terms, not on someone else's, and not like that."