The Missouri legislature will soon consider Senate Bill 285 to protect the right of pharmacists who refuse to dispense birth control pills. Here’s the text of the bill:
This act protects the conscience rights of pharmaceutical professionals. Such pharmaceutical professionals shall not be required to perform, assist, recommend, refer for, or participate in any service involving a particular drug or device that they have a good faith belief is used for abortions. In these instances, the pharmaceutical professional shall be immune from civil or criminal liability and will not have their license suspended or revoked.
As I’ve discussed before, many conservatives argue that birth control pills cause “abortions” because it is possible that they could cause a fertilized egg to fail to implant. This is the reason that the hundreds of “Pregnancy Resource Centers” that dot the country refuse to tell their clients about the existence of birth control pills (and see here). Instead, such fake pregnancy clinics recommend only “natural family planning” (formerly known as rhythm), which has a failure rate of 20% per year. Is that the kind of birth control you want for your wife, girlfriend or daughter?
It’s important to note that anti-abortion sites freely admit that the “vast majority of women” using birth control pills are not causing “abortions,” however defined.
This proposed Missouri law, if passed, would invite the following conversation between an adult woman customer and a pharmacist:
[Woman]: I’d like you to fill this prescription for birth control pills. My doctor wrote this prescription for me.
[Pharmacist]: I won’t do that. I have a good faith belief that you are using those pills to have abortions. I’m the only pharmacist on duty at this store, so that’s the final answer.
[Woman]: This is ridiculous. Tell me where I can find another pharmacy that will fill this perfectly legal prescription.
[Pharmacist]: I refuse to refer you to such an evil place, as I am entitled to do pursuant to Senate Bill 285.
[Woman]: I need to talk to your boss.
[Pharmacist’s Boss]: I’d like to fire this guy, but Senate Bill 285 provides that if I fire him, he can sue me for triple damages plus attorneys fees.
To top off this insanity, many women take birth control pills for reasons other than avoiding pregnancy.
The hormones in “the Pill” can be used to treat some medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, adenomyosis, anemia related to menstruation, and painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea). In addition, oral contraceptives are often prescribed as medication for mild or moderate acne.
For Wikipedia’s article on the main mechanism of birth control pills, click here.
This bill is likely to be heard at the following place and time:
Hearing on Bills Regarding Reproductive Healthcare
Senate Judiciary and Civil and
Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO
Monday, February 19th, 6:00 pm