Scott Tibbs
Printed in the Bloomington Independent, 4-12-2001

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A clear conscience for dispensing drugs

To the Editor:

The Pharmacist's Conscience bill introduced in the Indiana House of Representatives is dead for this legislative session, to the disappointment of pro-life Hoosiers. Passing a Pharmacist's Conscience law would allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for drugs that cause early abortions, and is very much needed with the approval of the abortion-causing drug RU-486. The bill, introduced by Rep. Peggy Welch (D-Bloomington) died without even a committee hearing, as House Floor Leader Mark Kruzan (D-Bloomington) explained on a radio program recently.

I do not believe Welch was committed to this bill. I believe that had she really wanted it to happen, she would have at least made sure it got a hearing. After all, her party controls the House.

Pro-abortion forces, including the Herald-Times editorial board and Representative Kruzan, claim that this bill is a slippery slope to allowing people to refuse all kinds of tasks at work based on moral or religious beliefs.

But Pharmacist's Conscience would not open the door to such problems. One fact that pro-abortion forces ignore is that pharmacists are health care professionals, and are bound by oath not to cause harm to their patients. When a pregnant woman is standing before a pharmacist, he or she must consider the needs of two patients, not just one, and pharmacists should not be forced to cause harm to the tiny, defenseless unborn patient. It is one thing to be for a woman's "right" to choose abortion, but is another thing entirely to force others to be involved in the killing of a tiny human being. That is a pro-abortion position, not "pro-choice" position.

I commend Indiana University Students for Life for keeping this cause before the public by sponsoring a speech on the topic by Karen Brauer, a national leader in the Pharmacist's Conscience movement.