Beliefnet
Lynn v. Sekulow

The California Supreme Court decision in North Coast illustrates the need to protect doctors and other professionals who hold sincerely held religious beliefs through “conscience clause” legislation and state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts. The same principles could apply in situations where a pro-life doctor is asked to perform an abortion, or a pro-life pharmacist is asked to provide the “morning after” pill.

 

There is no compelling reason to force doctors and pharmacists to violate their consciences by providing services that conflict with their religious beliefs. They hold no “veto power” over patient decisions, as patients are free to go to numerous other professionals that will provide those services without hesitation. For example, in the North Coast case, the patient conceived through in vitro fertilization after she was referred to a physician at another practice. As the Supreme Court put it more than 50 years ago, the government “follows the best of our traditions” when it accommodates the religious beliefs of Americans through legislation (such as conscience clause laws). See Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306, 313-14 (1952).

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