Jodi Wagner’s letter on “rights of conscience” for pharmacists gets a few items wrong. Wagner states that the issue “began with Planned Parenthood and other abortion rights groups targeting pharmacists,” and that “There is not a single documented case of a woman who did not receive Plan B in a timely manner due to a pharmacist’s conscientious refusal,” suggesting, “Access is not the issue.”
In fact, the issue extends beyond just access to Plan B and involves cases in a number of states where pharmacists have invoked “conscience” in refusals to fill prescriptions, which works a hardship upon those seeking legally prescribed pharmaceuticals.
Wagner refers to pharmacists’ “civil rights,” but as the old saying goes, “your rights end at the other person’s nose” – or in this case, their prescriptions. Anyone – pharmacist or otherwise – has the right to decide for themselves not to use Plan B, any contraceptive or other medication. But their rights should not extend to imposing their values on others by interfering with someone else exercising that same right.
If it violates their conscience to fulfill the duties of their job, they need to find another.
Steven A. Wells