Arizona state legislators introduced a bill this week that would allow pharmacists to refuse to honor prescriptions for emergency contraceptives due to moral objections. The legislation requires minors to receive notarized parental consent prior to an abortion, requires a 24-hour waiting period prior to an abortion, and specifies that women must be briefed on assistance available if they decide against an abortion. Existing legislation that allows health professionals to refuse to participate in abortion procedures is reiterated in the new bill, which is sponsored by Republican state Representative Nancy Barto.
Arizona state House Minority Leader Democrat David Lujan told the Arizona Republic that “women have far fewer options, especially when you’re talking about rural areas as pharmacists, they have a professional duty. It’s an issue of women’s health and safety.”
Former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano has vetoed similar legislation before, but Napolitano was confirmed as President Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary in January and has been replaced by anti-choice Republican Jan Brewer. According to the Capitol Media Services, the bill is likely to be passed by the Republican-controlled legislature, where 12 state senators and 27 state representatives have already signed on as cosponsors.