WASHINGTON, April 15, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Democrats in the Senate have proposed a new bill that would force pharmacies to dispense abortifacient birth-control or morning-after pills, notwithstanding an individual pharmacist’s moral opposition to the drug.
Sponsor New Jersey Democrat Frank Lautenberg, claimed, “If a pharmacist is allowed to pick and choose which prescriptions to fill, everyone's health could be at risk,” according to a Reuters news report.
Pharmacists would not be allowed to flat-out refuse a patient – they would be required to send the customer to another pharmacist or pharmacy if they themselves were unwilling, because of moral or religious objections, to fill the prescription.
Cristina Alarcon, a Vancouver pharmacist and member of Canada’s Pharmacists for Life, told The Interim’s Paul Tuns in 2001 that forcing pharmacists to refer patients is wrong. She said referring a client to another pharmacist in order to help kill a baby “turns the referring pharmacist into an accomplice.”
Stressing conscience rights, Alarcon added, “Regardless of where you stand on the moral issues surrounding abortion, pharmacists who do not wish to participate must have their ‘freedom of choice’ respected and they must not be forced to refer. ... I didn't spend years studying pharmacy just to become a dispensing machine.”