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Published On: Wed, Jun 8th, 2016

US Senate to fine pharmacists who refuse to dispense Plan B

Senate Democrats have introduced a bill that would impose crushing fines on pharmacists who refuse to personally dispense Plan B pills, an “emergency contraception,” and a potential abortifacient, removing conscience protections from the law. The “Access to Birth Control Act” (S. 2960), was introduced by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.

This bill would require pharmacists to provide “any drug or device approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent pregnancy,” and also specifically mentions “emergency contraception” – a clear reference to Plan B, the “morning after pill,” or Ella, the “week after pill.”

Plan B One-Step emergency contraceptive Image/Video Screen Shot

Plan B One-Step emergency contraceptive
Image/Video Screen Shot

The text specifically states that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not apply. A pharmacist may only refuse to fill a prescription based on his “professional clinical judgment,” not due to religious conviction.

“Access to legal contraception is a protected fundamental right in the United States and should not be impeded by one individual’s personal beliefs,” the bill states. Violators will be fined $1,000 a day, or up to $100,000 “for all violations adjudicated in a single proceeding,” according to the bill.

Emergency contraception may act to prevent fertilization, but it also acts to make the uterine lining inhospitable and sometimes prevents a newly conceived child from implanting in the womb.

Plan B is more likely to induce an abortion than to prevent conception, according to a 2015 analysis co-authored by Dr. Christopher Kahlenborn for the Linacre Review.

A similar law in Washington state is being contested in court.

“No one should be forced out of her profession solely because of her religious beliefs,” said Luke Goodrich, deputy general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the group challenging the statute.

But lawmakers seem unmoved by appeals to conscience. “A pharmacist is free in their own life to live the way they want,” Sen. Tim Kaine, D-VA

reworked mortality death stats including abortions

reworked mortality death stats including abortions

About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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