December 22, 2005
More pharmacist insanity
A group founded by evangelist Pat Robertson is suing to stop Illinois from requiring pharmacies to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception, saying the rule violates a druggist’s right to refuse on religious and moral grounds.
The Washington-based American Center for Law and Justice filed the lawsuit Monday in US District Court in Springfield, Ill.
The lawsuit, mirroring some claims in state lawsuits challenging the rule, names Governor Rod Blagojevich and the heads of the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and its Division of Professional Regulation as defendants.
The Illinois rule, the first of its kind in the nation, requires pharmacies that sell federally approved contraceptives to fill prescriptions for emergency birth control “without delay” if they have the medication in stock.
… The lawsuit represents five pharmacists indefinitely suspended by Walgreen Co. for refusing on religious or moral grounds to dispense the drugs.
The suit also represents two pharmacists who are worried they may face similar disciplinary action.
Sekulow’s “Trial Notebook” illustrates the extent of the ACLJ’s insanity:
[W]e will be filing two lawsuits today on behalf of pharmacists who have lost their positions because of the refusal to dispense a drug that induces abortion. Simult-aneously, we have filed claims with the EEOC on behalf of our clients. These Con-science Clause cases are significant and represent the cutting edge of the abort-ion debate in our country right now. Doctors, nurses and pharmacists should not be compelled to violate their conscience and participate in an abortion procedure.
As I’ve written before, the irony is that emergency contraception ought to be the pro-lifers’ friend: on one estimate, it could save 80,000 abortions every year in New York state alone. But the pill works in two ways: if given prior to ovulation, it prevents or delays the release of an egg from the ovary; if ovulation has already occurred, it helps prevent the fertilized egg from traveling down the fallopian tubes and implanting in the uterus. Wingnuts, in their parallel universe, see this second way as “abortion.” Never mind that fertilized eggs often fail to implant without any kind of medical intervention, or that pregnancy doesn’t even begin until the egg is implanted:
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that pregnancy begins when a fertilized egg implants into the uterine lining, not when the egg is fertilized. Forty to 60 percent of fertilized eggs naturally fail to implant in the uterus and are eliminated when a woman menstruates.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, emergency contraception is not effective if the woman is actually pregnant.
“Claiming contraception—especially emergency contraception—can cause abortion is one of the most common deceptions perpetuated by anti-choice extremists,” said Sarah A. Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Presumably, if all else fails, Robertson will issue another curse. After all, in 1998 he warned the city of Orlando to expect hurricanes, earthquakes and terrorist attacks because it allowed rainbow flags to be displayed in support of sexual diversity. And more recently he told Hollywood to expect an earthquake because “sexual deviant” Ellen DeGeneres was chosen to host the Emmys.
So the outlook for non-wingnut (i.e., sane) pharmacists is truly bleak.
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