A Dunedin woman has lodged a complaint with the Health and
Disability Commissioner (HDC) over the way she was dealt with
by a local pharmacy when seeking the emergency contraceptive
Student magazine Critic this week reported a young
Dunedin woman complained to the HDC over the way she was
treated when she visited Wilkinson and Son Chemists seeking
an emergency contraceptive pill.
Critic reported the woman complained to the HDC after
feeling ''uncomfortable'' about the questions she was asked
during her consultation, the woman saying her visit finished
with the pharmacist advising the ''best method of
contraception was to hold an aspirin pill between my knees''.
Speaking to the Otago Daily Times this week, Wilkinson
and Son Chemists pharmacist Warren Leonard said it tried hard
to make it a ''positive experience'' for women who visited
seeking the emergency contraceptive pill (ESP).
He confirmed a complaint had been made against the pharmacy
to the HDC relating to a woman's visit in December.
Asked if he told the woman the ''best contraception is an
aspirin between the knees'' he said: ''If I did that, I would
have said there is an old joke about that, and the old joke
was told to me by my brother and he always said, 'The best
contraception is an aspirin between the knees'.
''If I said that, that would have been said as a joke, to
again, try and make [her] feel relaxed.''
Responding to the woman's claim that religion was brought up
in the consultation, he said: ''I don't ask whether they are
religious at all. We explain that the pill does not actually
''It actually affects implementation of the fertilised egg.
Now that has obvious ramifications for people who are of
various religious aspects, for example Catholic, and ... I
also explain that is the reason we just tell them that.
''I don't care what religion they are, but since I married a
Catholic I understand some of the Catholic faith and the
Catholic ideas about things.''
He did not recall telling the woman her partner was a ''lucky
guy'' or she was ''pretty and athletic, like his daughters'',
as was alleged in Critic.
''Mind you, it was a fair while ago and I don't try to
remember every conversation I have anyway.''
He was not against the emergency contraceptive pill
personally and did not judge women who came in seeking it.
''I actually rate them for coming in talking to a person who
is probably old enough to be their father or even maybe their
grandfather and resolving it.
''I'm a little sad ... that one person has got upset. For
that person, if I have upset them in anyway, I really do
apologise to them.''
He had replied to a request for information from the HDC and
was now awaiting its decision.