Called the Heath Care Rights of Conscience Act, the new law will bar anyone from being required to prescribe or administer a drug they “reasonably believe” might result in the termination of a pregnancy. The law was signed Monday.
[The bill's sponsor, State Rep. Lance Kinzer] said the conscience protection would apply to any drug that would cause harm to an embryo after it is fertilized.
That sure sounds like Kansas pharmacists can now refuse to give any woman of childbearing age any drug that could harm an embryo, just on the off-chance that she might be pregnant and trying to induce an abortion. What could possibly go wrong?
The Idaho Board of Pharmacy has concluded a Nampa Walgreen’s pharmacist did not break any state laws when she allegedly refused to fill a prescription last year.
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest filed a complaint after a nurse called last year and asked for methergine, a medication used to prevent bleeding after childbirth or an abortion.
Idaho’s conscience clause, which allows a pharmacist to opt out of filling prescriptions for drugs he or she may have moral issues with, is meant only to apply to drugs such as the morning after pill, that directly cause abortions.
Instead, the pharmacist both tried to violate privacy laws and then withheld a drug meant to stop bleeding that may be associated with abortion but also birth, and refused to pass the prescription to someone else in the pharmacy to be filled. Yet the Board is claiming that since someone else filled it eventually despite the pharmacist’s roadblocks, the pharmacist did nothing illegal.
It’s like the passive-aggressive cousin of Stand Your Ground. We could call it “Sit On Your Hands,” perhaps: You don’t have to help someone if you think they don’t deserve it, even if it’s a potentially life-threatening situation, and even if it’s supposed to be your job.
Funny how there never seem to be any “conscience clauses” protecting a principled refusal to limit someone’s choices. That’s because the only reason conservatives want to get the government “off our backs” or “out of the way” is to make room for corporations and right-wing religious zealots. For the right, the freedom to exploit, intimidate, oppress, and sometimes even kill, is the only freedom that truly matters.