by Steven Ertelt
March 15, 2006
Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) — Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed a bill last year that pro-life groups supported allowing pharmacists to opt out of dispensing drugs like the morning after pill that causes them moral or religious objections. Now, lawmakers are going the other direction with a bill that forces pharmacies to refer women to another pharmacy for the drugs, which can sometimes cause an abortion.
Republican Sen. Carolyn Allen of Scottsdale claims her bill is an attempt to respect the view of pharmacists who don’t want to be forced to dispense such drugs.
But, pro-life groups are opposing the measure because they see it more like an Illinois executive order forcing pharmacists to fill such prescriptions.
The Senate on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to the measure, which says that a pharmacy with a pharmacist unwilling to fill prescriptions for a certain drug must refer the customer to another pharmacy or ensure that another pharmacist is present to fill the prescription.
The Center for Arizona Policy and the Arizona Catholic Conference see that as still forcing pharmacies and pharmacists to be involved in dispensing the Plan B drugs and, as a result, they oppose the measure.
Should the Senate give final approval to SB 1518, it will move on to the House.
In 1973 the Arizona Legislature authorized hospitals, physicians and staff persons associated with health care institutions to refuse to participate in an abortion if they object to participating based on moral or religious grounds.
However, pro-life groups say that concept should be applied to pharmacists as well.