Idaho Legislators Approve Conscience Clause Legislation for Pro-Life Pharmacists
by Steven Ertelt
March 30, 2009
Boise, ID (LifeNews.com) — Members of the Idaho legislature approved a bill on Monday that would provide a conscience clause for pro-life pharmacists. The bill allows pharmacists who don’t want to be forced to dispense birth control or drugs that may cause abortions to opt out of doing so.
The House voted 48-21 to let pharmacists opt of dispensing the drugs for religious or moral reasons and it extends the protections already given to doctors and nurses to pharmacists.
Rep. Tom Loertscher, one of the supporters of the bill called conscience rights one of our most basic and fundamental rights," according to a Idaho Business News report.
We have the ability to exercise our conscience in virtually everything we do in our lives, he said. It only seems reasonable that for pharmacists that we make it clear that this is absolutely the case.
John Rusche, a Democrat and the House Minority Leader, claimed the bill would somehow allow pharmacists to make medical decisions for people or that pharmacists would begin refusing to dispense other drugs for other reasons.
Loertscher said that wouldn’t happen.
Name me the pharmacist that would not dispense insulin, he said. Name me the pharmacist that would not be willing to dispense medications for the elderly, for dementia and Alzheimers. I don’t think there are any.
Two Democrats joined the chamber’s majority Republicans to support the bill while five Republicans voted against it.
The bill now heads to the state Senate.
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