The Bush administration’s “right conscience rule” is usually cast as being about preventing health care professionals from performing abortions if doing so violates their conscience or religious beliefs.
But according to the rule’s advocates, it has important implications for the “morning after pill” or “emergency contraception.”
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Proponents, including the Christian Medical Association. and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, say the rule is not limited to abortion. It will protect doctors who do not wish to prescribe birth control or to provide artificial insemination, said Dr. David Stevens, president of CMA.
“The real battle line is the morning-after pill,” he said. “This prevents the embryo from implanting. This involves moral complicity. Doctors should not be required to dispense a medication they have a moral objection to.”…
In calling for limits on “conscientious refusals,” the [American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology] cited four recent examples.
In Texas, a pharmacist rejected a rape victim’s prescription for emergency contraception.
In Virginia, a 42-year-old mother of two became pregnant after being refused emergency contraception.
In California, a physician refused to perform artificial insemination for a lesbian couple.
And in Nebraska, a 19-year-old with a life-threatening embolism was refused an early abortion at a religiously affiliated hospital.