I was jumping online to do a blog post about this convention that I’m attending this weekend, but it has to wait because I have to tell you about This Other Thing That Is Really Awesome!
H/T to Niki for pointing me in the direction of Michael Stone’s article Appeals Court Rules Pharmacies Cannot Cite Religion To Deny Medication
In Washington state it is no longer legal for pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception based on the justification that to do so would violate their deeply held religious belief that slutty women should literally bear the consequences of their sluttiness. Well, a clarification: These pharmacists can refuse to fill prescriptions… as long as they are on duty with a coworker who acknowledges that women are sentient life forms capable of making medical decisions about their own bodies, and who will fill the prescriptions.
This is huge! Not just for reproductive rights, but for putting a slight damper on the creep (tidal wave) of religion into public life and government.
Stone cites a statement by The Washington, D.C.-based Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty: “The government has no business punishing citizens solely because of their religious beliefs.”
No. If you refuse to provide professional assistance to someone because they don’t share your political beliefs, then you are the one who is doing the punishing.
And thanks to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this kind of petty-minded punishment is not going to be tolerated. Pharmacists no longer get to decide that they know better than the doctors who prescribe emergency contraception and the people who are choosing to take it. They no longer get to use their professional status as an opportunity to prostelytize and pass moral judgments that have very real consequences to their clients. They no longer get to be the gatekeepers of this type of medical care.
You know, at least in Washington state.