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Court Rules for Pharmacists on Morning-After Pill

(RNS) Pharmacists with religious objections to “morning-after” emergency contraceptives cannot be compelled to sell the product, an Illinois Circuit Judge ruled Tuesday (April 5).

The Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act was passed in 1998 to shield health care workers from going against their own beliefs. In 2005, then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich issued a ruling to force “pharmacies to fill prescriptions without making moral judgments.”

Two pharmacists, Luke VanderBleek and Glenn Kosirog, sued for the right to not dispense the pills.

Circuit Judge John Belz wrote that the 1998 law “was designed to forbid the government from doing what it aims to do here: coercing individuals or entities to provide healthcare services that violate their belief.”

Attorney Mark Rienzi, who represented the pharmacists with the help of the American Center for Law and Justice, called the ruling “a very good thing.”

“The judge’s decision makes clear that religious people don’t have to give up their religion, don’t have to check their conscience at the door, to enter the health care profession,” Rienzi said.

Belz said Blagojevich’s ruling was unconstitutional and ran afoul of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“It has been a big burden on (VanderBleek and Kosirog) to not know if they will be able to continue to practice the only profession they have ever known,” said Rienzi. “They are very happy to be out from under that burden.”

The state attorney general’s office will appeal the decision, said spokeswoman Robyn Ziegler, citing “a compelling need for emergency contraceptives to be available at all licensed pharmacies in the state of Illinois.”

- RICHARD YEAKLEY, Religion News Service



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    It is a very bad ruling. The person who needs the medication is more important than the pharmacist who has gone into the profession knowing part of the job is selling such things. It’s the “ME” generation on steroids.

    I sincerely hope this is over-ruled.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment kenneth

    It should be overruled. If someone has a problem filling such prescriptions, that is something that needs to be sorted out between them and their employer. It should NEVER become the patients problem. To do so is an abuse of power and should result in disciplinary action by licensing boards, apart from state statutes such as this one.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    The health field should be able to take care of any patient’s physical needs. To object to a patients prescription because the medical person knows what it is for and doesn’t agree that it should be used is ludicrous. This isn’t Iraq, or etc. Who cares what they think, they are a servant to the public, and if they can’t put aside their moral opinions on prescriptions or products that need no prescriptions then they are in the wrong line of work. I hope this is appealed and a better decision is reached the next time.

  • http://NPRPRN NPR PRN

    So what is the difference between these pharmacist and someone who works in a blood bank, but is also Jehovah Witness and refuse to work with blood? If you are a pharmacist you should dispense the meds order or get out of the business.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mordred08

    What about the patient’s religious freedom?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Agree with the 4 previous posts. Making the customer who needs the med suffer because the pharmacists disagree with the purpose of the medication is ridiculous!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Gwyddion9

    I have no issue with pharmacists not wanting to sell the product however, get a pharmacist who will sell the morning after pill.
    The ruling was poorly considered and needs to be challenged.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Heretic_for_Christ

    What next? Will the Legion of Devout Druggists refuse to sell contraceptives? Will they decide not to fill prescriptions for sildenafil (Viagra)? Or will they start dispensing Bible tracts with each product or prescription? Is it possible that they’ll even see their way to refusing to serve anyone except Christians?

    Okay, maybe none of those things will happen… but are we sure? Drug stores have been around forever, but until the last few years I never heard of pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions. So I sincerely don’t know what will come next.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Georgia Dude

    I do not agree with the ruling. When you are in the pharmacy business. It is your job to help the patients with prescriptions with moral judgments. I am in agreement with the majority on this issue.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Heretic_for_Christ

    Georgia Dude,
    I agree with your thoughtful comment here (and I gather you meant to say “WITHOUT moral judgments”).

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Grumpy Old Person

    What an atrocious decision. This, in essence, means that the pharmacist may require agreement with his/her religious beliefs as a condition of doing business with him/her.

    Ridiculous. And outrageous.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment ds0490

    This ruling will be overturned the first time a pharmacist raises a religious objection to dispensing Viagra, on ground that “if God wanted you to have an erection, he would have given you one.”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Valerie

    Terrible. If you can’t do the job, find a different career.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Tom

    Everyone talks about “needs”, but I’ve never heard of anyone dying from not having access to a morning-after pill. Were it a matter of life & death for the “patient”, I could understand. With Fed-ex & overnight delivery, you can get your “morning after” pills even if you live in a remote rural area, provided you have access to a telephone. It would just be the “morning after morning” pill, but it’d be just as effective.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Hello! TOM, A woman who is getting the morning after pill is indeed “in need”. How would you expect her to get the RX to the other end of the telephone line for validation that is it indeed written for her etc. and then wait for the delivery. I disagree with you—the purpose of a pharmacy and a pharmacist is to fill RX’s—not make moral judgements about what they are dispensing.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    When condoms are on the list of the far right fundamentalist members, and the men can’t get a pack when they want it because the pharmacist won’t give it to him then this law will hit the fan. Men rule, plain and simple. If the budget plan won’t be approved because of the ideology of the republicans wanting their abortion desires being given to them or else they will cause the government to shut down, just read this, not my creativeness, you can see who rules the U.S.A. or wants to obsessively!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Georgia Dude

    I agree with Pagansister. She is 100% right!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    I agree with Tom, it is not a need it is a luxury to be able to have thoughtless sex passing on the inappropriate behavior. People have different values concerning life and if the pharmacist believes that life starts at conception them that should be honored. Of course all of you thoughtful folk place no value on life/conception have different views but that’s your religion, his is different, I’ll take his.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    cknuck, if a pharmacist has a problem with a RX he/she is supposed to fill, they are in the wrong profession. Only reason to NOT fill a RX is if it might conflict with a med the client is already taking etc. The pharmacist is following a doctor’s orders—after all it is a RX, not over the counter. It is not up to the pharmacist to pass moral judgements on the people (in this case a woman) who brings in the RX. Nor is it up to you to do so, or me. Would you rather the woman find out she is pregnant (because she wasn’t able to get the morning after pill) and go for an abortion instead? What’s worse? Using birth control (yes, in this case after the fact) or an abortion? IMO, it is obvious—the morning after pill.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Large correction! Last sentence should read: IMO–it is obvious, AN ABORTION.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    Good example PS. If all the American women could find their self-esteem, and stand up for themselves, instead of letting some of the men in our country lead them around by a ring in their nose they would vote Democrat in every election and not have to worry if they will live, die, or just exist to please the conservative-far right Repulican men.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment MH

    Anyone who is pleased with this ruling should remember the Muslim cab drivers in Minnesota who refused to transport alcohol and dogs.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    This is a life or death situation only for one.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Yes, Cknuck—-The WOMAN! That is the life or death situation—if she prevents a pregnancy, there is no possibility for an abortion!

    MH: What the heck have Muslim cab drivers refusing to transport dogs and alcohol have to do with pharmacists refusing to fill a RX for the morning after pill? I have a feeling that all cab drivers in Minnesota aren’t Muslim. Pharmacists aren’t supposed to judge what medication a woman (or man for that matter) chooses to take legally.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment MH

    pagansister, it’s really the same issue. In both cases members of a religious group claim their conscience prevents them from doing their jobs. True not all cab drivers are Muslim and not all pharmacists are anti-birth control.

    But in one case I imagine members of the religious right would cheer, and in the other they would squawk about the creeping influence of Sharia law.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    I disagree pagan the woman is not in danger of dying even in the abortion scenario you submit, there is only one in danger of dying and that is the life she carries inside of her – the baby

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Georgia Dude

    Cknuck and MH:

    I ask the question. Do we really want to be live ina religious totalitarian country. I would certainly hope not. In defense of abortions. I find it scary that a young pop star like Justin Bieber can make a statemate of wanting to outlaw abortions even in the case of rape and incest. I am not against incestal relatioship between consental adults. Mr. Bieber doesn’t know much about real life, except being homeschooled by a conservative philosophy of life.
    I am also aware of the case in Minneapolis, MN when Muslin cabdrivers from Somalia refused to take female passagers to specific places because of their religious beliefs. Religious tyranny is just as scary as communist or fascist tyrammy. Something to think about.
    It’s a scary world…out there!

  • http://NPRPRN NPR PRN

    So Cknuck- So if a women has had a history of severe PIH, or is a brittle diabetic or has a profound cardiac condition and been told that a pregnancy could be life threatening ; or has a incompetent cervix and has had 4-5 late miscarriages. And the condom breaks, or the sponge fell out ,or she was raped, or things just went too far then a life would be threaten. Maybe she would lose a chance for a scholarship, or to travel or just can’t face a pregnancy at this time; only she gets to decide this. That is what having choice in your life is all about. Having basic respect from others that you can determine your life without explanations. If you don’t want women to have abortions then tell men not to have sex ever again; but please do not presume to decide what is best for women.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Your Name

    “if the pharmacist believes that life starts at conception them that should be honored”

    If a pharmacist believes that, then s/he is in the wrong profession.

    No pharmacist – heck, no businessperson – has the right to force a customer to believe the same things in order to do business. That’s just an abuse of power. Talk about ‘religious’ supremacists.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment MH

    Georgia Dude, I think the ruling is bad. People who have religious objections to aspects of a job you shouldn’t do it.

    I mentioned the cab drivers and pointed out the similarities to show how this ruling could lead to outcomes the religious right would dislike. As what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    cknuck, the morning after pill is to PREVENT a pregnancy from happening. How is that a danger to a conception that NEVER takes place?????

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Tom

    I don’t suppose it ever occurred to you intellectual giants that these pharmacists entered their professions/started running their own businesses before the “morning after” pill came into prominence. Heaven forbid that these entrepreneurs be allowed not to facillitate in an act they deem to be immoral.

    NPR PRN — If it’s just a matter of “scholarship”, or “to travel” or just “facing a pregnancy at the wrong time”, then let her solicit services from another pharmacist more complacent and “open minded” about such matters. She’s got almost 4 days (120 hrs) after the act to score her pills. That way everyone is happy (barring “liberationists” who wish to shove their morality down everyone else’s throats!)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    NPR do the math most abortions have nothing to do with life threatening events, well only to the life inside every abortion has to do with life threatening events. Most abortions are a matter of irresponsible sex and convenience. In those incidences where there are life threatening circumstances including rape of course there should be an opportunity of abortion. That’s common sense but to take that common sense senatorial and apply it to irresponsible behavior is sinful.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mordred08

    Tom, us pro-choice people aren’t forcing our morality on anyone. We don’t attack and harass women making an extremely difficult and painful decision that you could probably never comprehend. Nor do we brand doctors as “baby killers” or commit murder and terrorism like certain groups do.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Tom, this “intellectual giant” realizes that new drugs are put on the market everyday—the morning after pill is just another one. All he/she has to do is open a bottle and pour the amount the RX requires into another bottle and hand it to the woman, or hand her a vacuum pack or however it is wrapped. He/she is not there to be a judge—just to do his/her job. Would you feel the same way if a man with a RX for one of the ED meds was refused because the pharmacist said it was “immoral” to use meds to get an erection? After all, if one has ED then God meant for him not to father any more children! That is how ridiculous it sounds to me when a pharmacist refuses to give a woman the pill to prevent a pregnancy. Wonder if the pharmacist would refuse to give the woman birth control pills? They are to prevent pregnancy too, just like the morning after ones.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    The most ridiculous thing of all is people, man and women alike, who think they should have a decision about what women should decide for their own body, lives they know nothing about, and never will. Men do not own women, period. RoevsWade was fought for, won, and it isn’t going to change. Spend your time doing something constructive for others and stay out of peoples personal business.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    pagan it is obvious that the pharmacist is a bit more sensitive about life than you may be, thank God the courts recognized that and expressed a higher level of sensibility themselves. I applaud the decision.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment WLC

    This is unbelievable. If pharmacists have religious objections to filling certain prescriptions, (that is, unwilling to fill legal and medically sound prescriptions) then they can’t do the whole job and an employer is given compelling reason to hire someone else, not them. Then, the conscientious-objector employee will start filing discrimination lawsuits.

    If these so called conscientious objectors howl about discrimination later, they will have brought it on themselves: They have made it clear they are not willing or able to do the whole job, (that is, dispensing all Rxs) Proper patient coverage dictates that the pharmacies either need another pharmacist altogether, or another on staff to supervise and pick up the slack for religious pharmacists on at all their shifts, to fill prescriptions they are unable or unwilling to fill. Or the towns all need a competing pharmacy without this liability! Sheesh!

    These conscientious objector pharmacists are next to useless, or worse, true liabilities to their employers, because other, less sanctimonious pharmacists, can do the job more fully with less fuss!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Grumpy Old Person

    “Of course all of you thoughtful folk place no value on life/conception have different views but that’s your religion, his is different”

    Your “values” and your “religion” (and the pharmacist’s) may well differ from others’, ck. But this horrid decision negates the beliefs of the customer.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Grumpy Old Person

    @ Tom,

    “I don’t suppose it ever occurred to you intellectual giants that these pharmacists entered their professions/started running their own businesses before the “morning after” pill came into prominence. Heaven forbid that these entrepreneurs be allowed not to facillitate in an act they deem to be immoral.”

    Since America is still a country that ‘promises’ freedom of religion to ALL citizens, the religious beliefs of the pharmacist are IRRELEVANT. This pharmacist is the one shoving his religious beliefs down his customers’ throats. A business person cannot require customers to share the same religious beliefs as a condition of doing business. That’s not only religious bullying, it’s patently absurd in “the Land of the FREE” (TM, all rights reserved).

    “NPR PRN — If it’s just a matter of “scholarship”, or “to travel” or just “facing a pregnancy at the wrong time”, then let her solicit services from another pharmacist more complacent and “open minded” about such matters. She’s got almost 4 days (120 hrs) after the act to score her pills. That way everyone is happy (barring “liberationists” who wish to shove their morality down everyone else’s throats!)”

    Speaking of “intellectual giants”, your ‘solution’ could very well prove unworkable in smaller towns where there is no choice of another pharmacist. Sorry, but it is the pharmacist in this instance who is shoving his/her version of “morality” down everyone else’s throats.

    The pharmacist’s job is to dispense medical treatments. If s/he can’t do that without imposing ghis/her religion on his/her customers, s/he should quit and go become a preacher.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Grurmpy Old person

    @ ck,

    “In those incidences where there are life threatening circumstances including rape of course there should be an opportunity of abortion. That’s common sense “

    I am shocked you could be so cavalier. You do know that the many, many bills being put forward by the Rethuglicans do NOT agree with your take on pregnancies as a result of rape (or incest, for that matter). They make no such exceptionfor any life threatening circumstances.

    That selectivity is what we decry. To force any woman to carry a fetus to term against her wishes or circumtances is NOT a decision a government should be making in the first place.

    I think you, Tom, the pharmacist and the government should get out of the business of forcing pregnancies on the unwilling.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    That was spot on Grumpy Old Man. One correction though about the government, it is the Republican Congress that wants to control women’s pregnancies. Our Government upholds RoevsWade.

    It’s been six days since any new News has been put out on Beliefnet!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Georgia Dude

    MH:
    Find another job. It’s simple as A-B-C!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    It’s obvious, cknuck, that the pharmacist is letting his religion get in the way of his work. Get a new job if you can’t handle the requirements of that job—just fill legitimate RX.s. AND you never answered my question on April 11 at 4:59 PM.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment MH

    Georgia Dude, I’ll say it again. I agree with you.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment clisais

    From all the comments I wonder if there were any pharmacist. I am a technician and I refuse to sell the abortion pill or the morning after pill. As a new tech I would sell it but when the women buying it are always the same ones it was obvios it was not because she was in danger, but because she was careless. If the women that know it is dangers to get pregnant why do they not take the birth control or make the man wear a condom. Why is itok for a store to have a sign that reads I HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE. You can not make a person go against their religious believes. Bottom line is how many pharmacies exist in 1 area, Can’t get it here well then go to the next one. MY GOD COMES BEFORE MY JOB.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Joe

    I have to wonder why anyone would want to work for a business that promotes and sells a product that you believe kills unborn children? By merely working at this job aren’t you by your employment facilitating the sale of this immoral object? It seems to me that this is not as much about religious freedom as making it difficult for a legal business to sell a legal product.

    If these pharmacists wish to keep their jobs, they must realize that in order to reasonably accommodate their beliefs, it may mean that they can never work alone so that the product is available to all customers, they may be restricted in their hours and locations they will work.

    Because this is part of the abortion debate it gets a lot of notice, but I am sure it is not a problem in other jobs. If I worked in a liquor store and refused to sell whiskey, but would sell the wine, I would not last long. If I worked in a sporting goods store but would only sell the tents ,but not the guns, I would be fired. What about the grocery store that sells cigarettes? Do you refuse to ring up the cigarettes?

    I think it is very important that our jobs fulfill not only a need to earn money to enjoy our lives, but if it is also important that our jobs fit our religious values, we need to accept the consequences of that.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lee Witte

    Obviously, many others are offended by beliefnet.com’s blatant advertising for a wingnut “Christian” takeover of basic, traditional AMERICAN rights, let us do what we can before the 2012 election becomes the dirtiest, most racist, most Bible-abusing battle this great nation has ever seen. Since Google.com is my Home Page, it allows me to search their sites as I read any/every beliefnet. article. Today beliefnet.com has (without my consent) insert this to my sign-in infor: http:/AddaURLtothis comment. GOOGLE SAYS THAT THIS SITE DOES NOT EXIST. Same answer when I rephrased my search to add beliefnet.com. I filed a constructive “Suggestions to Improve Google” with Google.com. Most complaints here are valid. Do your own follow-up. It may be insufficient in and of itself. Check out Wikipedia first. You may send your own ideas to me at leewitte@juno.com. If you abide by my rules of never opening an attachment without trusting the source, then I will trust you. I DO READ entirely ALL messages without attachments. Yes, our basic liberties are endangered. If pharmacists want to go all “moral” on us, then they should do a quick search for Seroquel on Google in it’s News search. The reason that most of them do not is that doctors prescribe and pharmacists sell this med w/o realizing that it is a dangerous and powerful drug. Check out the settlement that Astra Zeneca was forced to make last month. Consider the fact that this drug caused me to lose money, be involuntarily committed to an abusive & dangerous looney bin, and much, much more. Yes, I am committed to change this because I did not lose my self-respect. I think you see where this nonsense can lead to.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kitty Hegemann

    When one enters a profession, one should know and fulfill the requirements of that profession. It is my belief that the pharmacists should either find a pharmacy that is run by those who hold the same beliefs that they have or change professions. One would not expect a devout Quaker to join the military. One would not expect a devout Buddhist to seek employment at a slaughter house. These men are free to pursue their professions but not at the expense of those they are expected to serve. The ruling in unconstitutional as it violates the rights of women who have a legal prescription that the pharmacists refuse to fill.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment lucille

    If men and women were more careful about having sex, i.e., being particular in choosing the partner, making it something special instead of promiscuous, if men and women respected sex, there would be less need for the morning after pill. It shouldn’t be used as a lazy form of birth control. But since people are lazy, thoughtless, have no self respect, etc. etc., I suppose the pharmacist must fill the prescription. Better yet, the pharmacy should have someone on hand who has no objections. That wouldn’t be hard to find.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kitty Hegemann

    cknuck: I wonder how those same pharmacists would act if the state came looking for the ingredients for lethal injection to enforce the death penalty. The problem I have will most pro-lifers isn’t that they value the sanctity of life but they are selective as to the lives to be saved. For the most part, they aren’t anti-war or anti-death penalty. I, therefore, call them anti-choice and anti-women. Women are not too stupid nor too immoral to make their own reproductive decisions.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment lucille

    One more thought — If you don’t want to get pregnant, don’t have sex, or be certain you have some form of protection. Key word there is “certain.” Be responsible or stop having sex. then there would be no need for such rulings.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment truthislight

    So, if you work in the medical profession, please check your moral beliefs at the door?? So let’s force Christian GYN’s to do abortions, (murder children)…yeah, that sounds about right. We already support abortion with tax payers money…(which I believe some are Christians). How about taxes start going to build more churches and buying Bibles for third world nations…even though people don’t believe in God. One sided, don’t you think? No, not as long as it goes the liberals way. Why is it so wrong for these people to live their moral conscious? Just because you are in the medical field does not give patients the right to dictate the doctor’s action. If you want such a product, go to a different pharmacy…there are many people without morals that would be happy to take your money. But, I guess if you cannot impose your will on the just, it would make you look even more unjust? So clear your conscious’s by imposing your will if you must, but God still knows the truth and deep down inside, so do you.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment GC

    Please what is next? I have very strong beliefs also however the patient is the one who is suffering here not the pharmacist. In my job I deal with things daily that I don’t belief in but yet I do them because it is not my choice what others do with their lives. I can only control my decisions. If you can’t deal with doing your job because of your beliefs then get a different job. Quit taking away the rights of people to make their own choices. You are there to service your customer and don’t know why they need the medication, what if they were raped or molested by a family member. Many of these accounts go unreported but these women need some sort of peace of mind and maybe this is thiers. The ruling is unconstitutional and needs to be over turned.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment clisais

    It’s funny to read all of the comments. I just wonder if you could see where this pill is sold the most and at what time of the year. Yes close to colleges and during spring break. Some girls even request to buy 2 tablets at a time. Why because they know they will be having unprotected sex. You all want to give these girls the easy way out, but having unprotected sex can also bring on STDs. Who is going to pay for their treatments when they get Aids or Ganorreah or syphalis. (missed spelled words) but you all get it. Its funny you all keep mentioning that its a life and death situation. In my 12 years of working in a pharmacy I have yet to see some poor women come buy it for a life and death situation. If you all have a problem with the pharmacist then tell the courts to have it in front of the store out of the pharmacies because you don’t even need a prescription to buy it just an ID. Lets make it easy to find and have it next to the beer.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Your Name

    We live in a world without morals .I applaud anyone that would refuse to sell that pill.I work at fedex, I hope a people company like fedex would refuse the business of delivering that immoral drug .They might be saving the life of a future employee or customer .If your mother had access to that maybe we wouldn’t be having this debate.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pharmacy 1

    I’m curious – I’m quite sure that there are pharmacies that are not open on Shabbos – be they Orthodox Jews or 7th day adventists – they aren’t open and yet there is no uproar over it. There are hundreds if not thousands of pharmacies in the State and yet 2 guys who own their own stores decided that out of all the items in thier store [- the previous commmentators act as if the entire healthcare system is going to collapse if] they don’t carry this one particular class of products which is NOT under any circumstances a life saving product. There are doctors and nurses that don’t and won’t perform abortions and no one bats an eye. Whether or not I agree with the ruling is irrelevant – I’m a pharmacist and people are fairly clueless really that we are not just merchants that dabble in heathcare. Part of that is our fault – actually a large part of it is but if we are to change our public perception – it needs to start here

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pharmacy 1

    Additionally I would just like to add that I had worked for many years on an ambulance prior to becoming a pharmacist and to the best of my recollection I never took 1 emergency patient to a pharmacy at any time – in truth every time I was dispatched I ended up taking the patient to THE HOSPITAL although I passed quite a few pharmacies along the way it never occurred to me or any of my co-workers to stop there to get our patients treated because they were not the places to take them for emergency treatment.

    In response though to the relatively horriffic scenarios laid out by one of the more vocal commentators I just would like to be enlightened- the pill itself is only effective for the first 72 hours – of which of the aforementioned conditions would be potentially life threatening within that time frame?

    Within 72 hours I’m pretty sure that even under adverse conditions a patient of any gender could make it to a hospital for EMERGENCY treatment of any kind

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    There was a poster that claims abortions are funded by tax payers. That is incorrect.

    Also, how may ways can one say—get out of the job if you can’t fulfill the requirements? If you want to pass moral judgements on folks, be a minister, Rabbi, Monk, Priest or whatever. Don’t be a pharmacist. Someone brought up stores that are closed on certain religious holidays—has nothing to do with whether a RX is filled. Stores can make their own hours—and obviously accept that they aren’t going to make any money on that day.

    Kitty H. Well said!!!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jewly

    This is very wrong.. a very slippery slope… what is to keep them from giving other “items” that they think are wrong… If this is so against their morals.. then they should not be in the SERVICE industry! I wish this pill was NEVER needed.. but who am I to cast stones.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pharmacy 1

    I still have yet for anyone to address the issue at hand – there is nothing saying that a pharmacist who owns their own store has to carry every product on the shelf and just as they can set their own hours – they can set thier own inventory. there are others stores one can go to and NOTHING about this pill and its indication for use constitutes an EMERGENCY in any meaningful way. NYS is such a place where this happens all the time and so far – the earth has not yet ceased to revolve and the healthcare system has yet to collapse. The arguement is a non issue truthfully – no one says that one is forced to use a certain store – go to another one- this is really quite silly.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    It’s an emergency for the woman involved, pharmacy 1. Maybe for a person who isn’t involved it isn’t considered an emergency, but somehow I don’t think the woman involved would agree.
    Yes, stores can certainly make their own hours and sell what products the wish. No problem. It’s the pharmacist in this case who refuses to distribute the RX.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Siara Delyn

    People who find this objectionable (as I do) need to vote with their wallets. Boycott pharmacies which impose their personal values on the public. Does this mean that vegetarians don’t have to sell customers anything that contains meat bi-products? Strict Jewish employees don’t have to work on Saturdays? Are Muslim employees going to be able to announce that they won’t be showing up for work for a month because they’re making a Hajj to Mecca?

    I’m tired of one political-religious group getting privileges that the rest of us don’t have.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Your Name

    They shouldnt have the morning after pill in the pharmacy to begin with. Many of you obviously havent heard about the pregnant girl in CO who went to the pharmacy to pick up her antibiotics and went home and took the medication, only to find that the pharmacists gave her a prescription for the morning after pill. The irony is SO sad! The woman it was intended for had the same last name. Seriously, whoever made that mistake is going to know all about what it means to have a “conscience” if that young womans baby ends up having serious deformities. Unfortunately, we are all humans and accidents happen. But it can’t be undone. I applaud the pharmacists who are taking PREVENTATIVE measures to ensure this kind of thing doesn’t happen to them. While it may be a religious motivation, it’s a smart move. If you obtain a career in legal defense, and you happen to be working with a client who is obviously guilty of murder- do you take that case because it shouldnt matter what your moral convictions are in that field of work? We are free to be morally convicted. In fact I think our country is in much of the doo doo its in because we sell out so easily.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Phillip wochner

    I would not want a health care professional without strong moral convictions. The law was clearly written to protect freedom of conscience. A woman who doesn’t like it can go to a different pharmacy. This is a good ruling.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    YN, mistakes do happen—twice in the pharmacy I use. Have learned to inspect the pills I get before I drive home. And yes, I agree—the male and female involved should be responsible for controling themselves etc. so as not to have a need for the mroning after pill. Life doesn’t work that way. Also a rape,incest victim doesn’t have that choice. Would a pharmacist refuse a rape victim? I would certainly hope not.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment julie

    A pharmacist is being paid a lot of money to dispense drugs! That is his job! his personal views should have nothing to do with his job! unless he wants a cut in pay!

  • Rob Kerby, Senior Editor

    Let’s see, what is it called when you accept money to do things that you believe are wrong? Prostitution?

  • http://Pharmacists'RIghts nw

    Apparently the pharmacist is not allowed the right to his personal moral compass to guide his decisions. As far as pharmacists knowing they would be selling these products that is a weak argument since they are relatively new. Really… they are expected to get a new job? How self-righteous are you liberal minded peopl? You are the only ones whose rights and ideals matter? I think you we should put graphic images of abortions on the sides of “Family Planning” Clinics. If it’s okay to put graphic images on the side of a cigarette package this is only fair. I do NOT want one thin dime of mine paying for abortion but I do NOT have the right to this, so how FAIR is that? It’s not, but liberals never see the other side of the coin and they are terrific at calling names or putting people down, so as soon as you read this I am sure you will blast me so do what you do best, insult and put down when someone has a different opinion. I’d like to see fewer abortions but that won’t happen. I give us a few more years and we will decide that a one-year old isn’t a person. It’s being discussed, so don’t think it won’t happen. America is on a slippery slope.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Pixie

    There used to be a time when doctors would not prescribe birth control pills unless a woman showed proof that she was married. Are we going back to the dark ages?

    Many women are raped or are victims of incest. It would be cruel to deny them the option of the morning-after pill.

    I suppose that if the pharmasist is Cathlolic that he could decide to not dispense birth control even to married couples because the pope says it is wrong.

    A Scientologist could refuse to dispense psychiatric meds. (BTW, Serequel has helped me so I am sorry that some people have had a bad reaction to it, but it still helps many people).

    The list could go on and on.

    I think people should stop meddling in other people’s business and just do their jobs.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Leah

    I applaud this measure. The Morning After pill is a luxury. I don’t give a crap why the woman wants it, if she wants it is because she had sex and doesn’t want to get pregnant. If she is in such “need” of the pill then she shouldn’t have had sex in the first place.

    It’s not like the pharmacists are saying they won’t sell pain medication or anti-depression medications. Those are more important than a morning-after pill.

    Let us respect everyone’s religious beliefs, not just the ones we agree with.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Leah

    I also agree with what “Your Name” said.
    “In fact I think our country is in much of the doo doo its in because we sell out so easily.”

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