California Abortion Advocates Push Bill on Pharmacist Involvement

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 12, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Abortion Advocates Push Bill on Pharmacist Involvement Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 12
, 2005

Sacramento, CA ( — Abortion advocates in California are pushing legislation to require pharmacies there to dispense drugs that sometimes cause abortions, despite possible moral or religious views against promoting abortion.

California Planned Parenthood affiliates and NARAL’s state chapter are lobbying heavily for passage of Senate Bill 644, sponsored by Sen. Deborah Ortiz, a Democrat.

The measure would create a requirement to dispense any lawfully prescribed medications. That bill is intended to target the morning after pill, which can sometimes cause an abortion.

However, the California Catholic Conference backs the bill because it also contains a provision allowing pharmacists to tell employers if they have problems dispensing some drugs. Pharmacies are required to find another pharmacist to fill the prescription.

Edward Dolejsi, executive director of the Catholic group, told the Modesto Bee newspaper, "SB 644 allows all to act according to their consciences and within the limits of the law."

To promote the bill, the pro-abortion groups sent dozens of volunteers to pharmacies across the state. The abortion advocates visited 149 independent and chain pharmacies in 29 California counties and volunteers presented prescriptions for Plan B.

Pharmacists in four cases declined to fill the scripts.

The abortion advocates found that 59% of the pharmacies they contacted had the morning after pills in stock and 71% that did not stock the drugs made a referral to another pharmacy.

The Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee held a hearing on the bill Monday and is scheduled to vote on it next week.

Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and South Dakota have passed laws protecting pharmacists from being involved in dispensing abortion drugs and eight other states are considering similar measures.

Related web sites:
California Catholic Conference –