by Steven Ertelt
April 19, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Abortion advocates have filed Congressional legislation that would force pharmacists to dispense drugs that violate their moral beliefs, such as the morning after pill, if no other pharmacist is available to fill the prescription.
Named the Access to Legal Pharmaceuticals Act, pro-abortion lawmakers filed the measure on Thursday claiming that pharmacists too often deny women access to the Plan B pills.
Because the drug sometimes causes an abortion, many pharmacists find it morally objectionable and seek to opt out of dispensing the drug.
The abortion advocacy group NARAL says the bill is needed because as many as 10-12 states either have laws on the books allowing pharmacists to opt out of filling such prescriptions or are considering similar measures.
Because federal law trumps state laws, the bill would essentially overturn those measures and force pharmacists nationwide to fill prescriptions for the morning after pill as well as birth control pills.
"What have we come to in this country," Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat and House sponsor of the bill, asked. "We are merely saying … when [a woman] has a prescription from her doctor, that privacy should be respected."
However, Karen Brauer, president of Pharmacists for Life, told the Reuters news agency that health care professionals should never be forced into participating in an abortion.
If pharmacists are required to participate in drug-induced abortions, Brauer worries doctors and nurses will be next.
"They’ll force women to kill their children … It will be like China. It’s the next logical step," she told Reuters.
Susan Winckler of the American Pharmacists Association said her group favors allowing pharmacists to opt out of dispensing the drugs as long as the prescription can be filled at another pharmacy or by another pharmacist.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat, is sponsoring the bill in the Senate.
The bill is not expected to be approved in the House and pro-life lawmakers in the Senate would likely filibuster the legislation there if it did pass.
A January study of women who use the so-called Plan B emergency contraception pills shows that making the controversial drug more available has no effect on reducing pregnancy rates and that making it available over the counter doesn’t mean women will use it more.