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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Druggists Shouldn't Act as Morality Police

The Editors
Scientific American
Originally published July 18, 2018

Here is an excerpt:

In states with conscience carve-outs for pharmacists, pharmacies honoring those policies should be required to preemptively notify state authorities and medical providers that they might refuse service.

That way, women and their doctors could make alternative arrangements to fill prescriptions at pharmacies that will give them the medications they need —avoiding situations like the recent one in Arizona. (This follows a model worked out in 2014, when the Supreme Court told the Obama administration that employers with moral objections did not have to offer an insurance plan with birth control coverage. But such employers did have to notify the Department of Health and Human Services so the government and insurers could provide birth control coverage via a private insurance plan or a government-sponsored one.)

And in situations where individual pharmacists may refuse service—even if their pharmacies generally fill family-planning prescriptions—there should be a legal requirement to automatically refer that prescription to another pharmacy within a certain reasonable distance or to have a backup pharmacist on call to do the work so that patients can get medications quickly and efficiently.

The information is here.