Nevada Pharmacy Board Won’t Adopt Pharmacists Conscience Clause

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

Nevada Pharmacy Board Won’t Adopt Pharmacists Conscience Clause Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 9, 2005

Carson City, NV ( — The Nevada Board of Pharmacy decided yesterday that it will not formalize a plan to allow pharmacists there to opt out of dispensing drugs that may violate their moral or religious beliefs, like the morning after pill.

The panel had been considering a new regulation making it clear that pharmacists are not required to fill prescriptions for the drug, which can sometimes cause an abortion.

"Nobody tells a physician he has to perform an abortion," board general counsel Louis Ling told the Reno Gazette-Journal in October. "No other health care professional is forced to do something over her beliefs."

The rule would have stated pharmacists can follow their conscience as long as they help a customer find another location to have the script filled.

Pharmacist Delia Munoz of Sparks, Nevada, said the regulation is a good idea, especially since she’s a Catholic and opposed to abortion. She gives prescriptions for Plan B to other pharmacists to fill.

"By law, they should not force certain professionals to do stuff that is really against their beliefs," she said.

Some Nevada pharmacists are also worried about the Oregon law allowing assisted suicide and they don’t want to be obligated to hand out drugs to kill patients should Nevada ever adopt a similar law.

Reno Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie urged the board to let the legislature handle the issue instead.

The pharmacy panel had held hearings in Reno and Las Vegas that featured intense debate between pharmacists and abortion advocates.

Assemblywoman Chris Giunchigliani, a Democrat from Las Vegas, opposes the idea and told AP "This is about someone trying to inflict their personal motives on someone else’s medical care, and that’s not their job."

Pat Elzy, spokesman for Planned Parenthood in Reno, told AP her abortion business wants assurances that people buying some drugs won’t be forced to travel to another city to get them.