HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Pharmacists, Birth Control, and Conscience Clauses

Tuesday's New York Times had a good article on this subject, with a set of helpful maps showing where state bills have been introduced and voted down or are still pending.  In brief, the article states:

Around the country, in at least 12 states, including Indiana, Texas and Tennessee, so-called conscience clause bills have been introduced, which would allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense contraceptives if they have moral or religious objections. Four states already have such laws applying specifically to pharmacists: Arkansas, South Dakota, Mississippi and Georgia.

Proposals in three states - California, Missouri and New Jersey - would have the opposite effect, compelling pharmacies to fill any legal prescription.

In California, West Virginia and a few other states, there is a legislative tug of war, with both types of bills pending in the legislature. In Arizona last week, Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, vetoed a bill that would have allowed pharmacists to refuse to dispense such drugs.


| Permalink