by Steven Ertelt
March 10, 2005
Trenton, NJ (LifeNews.com) — Legislation in the state of New Jersey would force pharmacists there to dispense all drugs available at the pharmacy — including drugs that act as abortion agents. The measure is backed by abortion advocates who say pharmacists should not be allowed to opt out of drugs that violate their moral beliefs.
Brian Dixon, director of government relations for Population Connection, said that "[p]harmacists have a responsibility to provide their customers with the medicines prescribed by their doctors."
"They should not, indeed they cannot, be allowed to substitute their personal beliefs for the medical decision of a woman and her doctor," he said.
SB 2178 was introduced by Sens. Fred Madden and Joseph Vitale and AB 3772 introduced by Reps. Linda Stender and Robert Smith.
The measure brings the subject of pharmacists and objectionable drugs back into the public limelight.
Earlier this month, a judge ruled that a pro-life pharmacist in Wisconsin should be reprimanded for refusing to fill a customer’s prescription because he believed the drug causes abortions and violates his moral beliefs.
Administrative Law Judge Colleen Baird suggested that pharmacist Neil Noesen have his license restricted for two years for the July 2002 incident, in which he refused to fill the birth control prescription.
Pharmacists for Life International says pharmacists should not be required to violate their moral and religious beliefs by dispensing abortion drugs.
"There has been no proof of harm, or possible harm coming to the patient from being deprived of her medication until the next day," Karen Brauer, president of the group said of Noesen’s decision.
"Birth control pills used for that stated purpose are not a medical necessity, since there are other options for preventing birth," she said.
The measure goes in the opposite direction of legislation in other states. Wisconsin and Arizona are both looking at passing legislation to allow pharmacists to opt out of dispensing such controversial drugs without facing job pressure as a result.