Boots accused BPAS of 'facilitation and tacit encouragement of personal abuse'

A British pharmacy chain has sent a legal warning to BPAS (British Pregnancy and Advisory Service), accusing it of encouraging members of the public to send a “torrent of personal abuse” to staff at the company.

Following criticism of the chemist about the cost of its emergency contraception, BPAS launched the “Just Say Non” campaign in July. The group, which is Britain’s largest abortion provider, invited the public to email five named senior executives at Boots via an online form.

In a letter from law firm Schillings, Boots accused BPAS of “facilitation and tacit encouragement of personal abuse” in creating the form.

Four of the names have now been removed from the form.

A Boots spokesperson said: “We asked them simply to remove personal email details from their campaign widget and to agree not to encourage personal abuse of our people.

“We provided examples of where our employees have received abuse by email and social media in response to BPAS’s campaign.

“BPAS have not yet agreed to do this and we will continue to ask that they agree to our simple request, which was made only to protect the interests of our employees.”

However, BPAS said Boots “failed to provide any evidence of abuse sent through the campaign”.

After the row about the cost of the morning-after pill in its stores, Boots initially refused to cut the cost, telling BPAS it wanted to avoid “incentivising inappropriate use” – a remark the company later apologised for.

It has since announced that it would be able to offer the morning-after pill at prices comparable to other outlets from October.