Pharmacist Refuses to Fill Prescription for Birth Control Pill

A pharmacist in Menomonie, Wisconsin is facing legal action for refusing to refill a woman’s prescription for the birth control pill. The K-Mart pharmacist claimed it would violate his religious beliefs to fill a prescription for a contraceptive that could cause what he believed to be an abortion, and refused her right to have the prescription transferred, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

The Pharmacy Examining Board and Policy Committee of the American Pharmacists Association both assert that the pharmacist had the right to refuse service based on “conscience” but should have transferred the prescription to another pharmacy. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle (D) has promised to veto pending “conscience clause” legislation that would allow pharmacists and other medical providers to selectively fulfill their duties based on religious beliefs, reports The Capital Times: “I don’t believe medical care should depend on whether a medical practitioner has a certain opinion,” said Doyle.

“The Right to Life movement has been very active in ensuring that pharmacists can refuse a woman access to her birth control prescriptions,” said Lisa Boyce of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. “The best way to prevent unintended pregnancies and make abortion rare is to make sure that women have information about and access to birth control. The anti-choice movement is so extreme, however, that they are working to weaken the very means that women rely on to prevent unintended pregnancy and the need for abortion.”

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Wisconsin State Journal 3/16/04; The Capital Times 3/16/04

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