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Pro-Life Pharmacies Refusing To Sell Birth Control

First Posted: 06/24/08 06:12 AM ET Updated: 11/17/11 09:02 AM ET

Pills

There's a growing trend in America that has nothing to do with gladiator sandals or high-waisted skirts and yet everything to do with women's bodies. According to the <em>Washington Post:

When DMC Pharmacy opens this summer on Route 50 in Chantilly, the shelves will be stocked with allergy remedies, pain relievers, antiseptic ointments and almost everything else sold in any drugstore. But anyone who wants condoms, birth control pills or the Plan B emergency contraceptive will be turned away.


That's because the drugstore, located in a typical shopping plaza featuring a Ruby Tuesday, a Papa John's and a Kmart, will be a "pro-life pharmacy" -- meaning, among other things, that it will eschew all contraceptives.

These stores are a emerging hot on the heels a few highly publicized cases of pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control pills and morning-after pills like Plan B. While pharmacists and the lawyers representing them argue that it's their constitutional right to act on what they think is right or wrong, the result is stores who refuse to even carry the products.

Critics are even more concerned about this, claiming that "the stores could create dangerous obstacles for women seeking legal, safe and widely used birth control methods." The problem is compounded by pharmacists who, while unwilling to fill the prescription themselves, are also unwilling to pass the prescription on to someone who will.

"If I don't believe something is right, the last thing I want to do is refer to someone else," said Michael G. Koelzer, who owns Kay Pharmacy in Grand Rapids, Mich. "It's up to that person to be able to find it."

And lastly, there is growing concern over what will happen if this trend really takes hold.

"We may find ourselves with whole regions of the country where virtually every pharmacy follows these limiting, discriminatory policies and women are unable to access legal, physician-prescribed medications," said R. Alta Charo, a University of Wisconsin lawyer and bioethicist. "We're talking about creating a separate universe of pharmacies that puts women at a disadvantage."

You can read the whole article here.

What do you think? Should pharmacists and medical professionals be able to pick and choose which aspects of their profession they partake in? Or should their religious beliefs be checked at the door?

Tell us your thoughts below.

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Filed by Verena von Pfetten  |