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Australian prime minister criticizes pharmacist who opposes contraception

Catholic World News - February 14, 2014

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has criticized a Catholic pharmacist who has reportedly written notes to patients discussing his opposition to contraception.

According to an Australian newspaper report, Simon Horsfall, who owns a pharmacy in Thurgoona, “slips a note into every oral contraceptive pill packet [and] says he accepts the teachings of the Catholic Church and is against the use of artificial contraception.”

After a patient posted a note on Facebook, the Australian pharmacy chain Soul Pattinson severed its ties with the pharmacy.

“That would certainly strike me as highly unusual behavior,” the prime minister said when asked to comment on Horsfall’s notes. “I think chemists should act professionally.”

“I wonder what the various professional bodies in pharmacy would think of it,’’ Abbott added.‘‘If anyone has a problem with that, who has received that kind of material … I think they have a right to raise it with the various pharmaceutical bodies and say, ‘What’s going on?’”

Abbott, a Catholic and a former seminarian, has opposed embryonic stem cell research and the abortifacient RU-486 but says that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.”

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