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RPS: We have joined global condemnation of US abortion decision

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RPS: We have joined global condemnation of US abortion decision

By Neil Trainis

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has said it signed up to a declaration this morning supported by healthcare organisations across the world condemning the US Supreme Court’s decision to remove the constitutional right of women to choose abortion.

The list of signatories, which includes the Royal College of Anaesthetists, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the British Medical Association in the UK, however, did not contain the name of the RPS as of early this afternoon, prompting its former president Ash Soni to urge it to put its name to the declaration.

The power to rule on abortion rights for millions of women across the US will now be decided individually by 50 states, giving each one the ability to restrict or ban the practice, prompting protests across the country against the decision to overhaul the constitutional right to abortion that was established by the landmark case Roe v Wade in 1973.

In the statement, the organisations warned the Supreme Court’s decision will “roll back 50 years of access to safe abortion care” and described it as “a catastrophic blow to the lives of millions of women, girls and pregnant people who now face the prospect of being forced to continue pregnancies.” The organisations said the decision “will cost lives for years to come".

Former Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain president Steve Churton took to Twitter to ask: “Would it be appropriate for RPS to take a position on this issue and therefore become a signatory? It’s something royal colleges do.”

He added: “Some may wish to live in the belief that RPS is already recognised by other healthcare professionals as a Royal College, but clearly it is not. It would otherwise have already been a signatory. Much more to do to get there.”

Mr Soni, who served as RPS president from 2014-16 and 2017-2019, tweeted: “As a professional leadership body, I would have expected this to have happened alongside the rest of the leadership bodies. No reason to delay as this is about the right to choice.”  

When asked for its position on the Supreme Court’s decision and if it will sign the declaration, the RPS told Independent Community Pharmacist: “The RPS signed up to this declaration this morning. It’s not showing on their website yet though, I don’t know when they plan to update the list.”

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