Missouri House OKs Conscience Amendment for Pharmacies on Morning After Pill
by Steven Ertelt
April 29, 2009
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — The Missouri state House has approved a conscience amendment that would allow pharmacies to opt out of dispensing the morning after pill. The move comes on the heels of the FDA allowing 17-year-old girls to purchase the drug over the counter.
The state House approved the conscience amendment on a bipartisan 115-43 vote, but delayed a final vote on the bill to which the amendment was attached.
Rep. Ed Emery, a Republican from Lamar, sponsored the amendment, which says pharmacies can’t become the subject of a lawsuit if they do not carry a certain drug. The language of Emery’s proposal specifically mentions the Plan B drug and mifepristone, or RU 486, which is used to cause abortions within the first 7-10 weeks of pregnancy.
Rep. Cynthia Davis, a Republican, argued in support of the amendment, according to a Columbia Missourian report.
She said businesses should have the right to determine which products they carry and that the amendment will protect pharmacies from egregious lawsuits.
"I have trouble understanding why anybody who is an American, who is not in favor of Communism, would want us to dictate what we’re going to say people can and cannot stock," Davis said. "I fear for all the businesses in Missouri if we’re going to start telling them what they can sell and what they cannot sell."
But Rep. Mary Still, a Democrat, objected to the amendment and claimed it was another effort to block women from getting abortions or contraception.
Rep. Beth Low, another Democrat, opposed the amendment and claimed it would lead to more abortions even though figures from several nations and states show having more so-called emergency contraception available doesn’t reduce abortions.
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