Scott Tibbs
blog post,
November 11th, 2004

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Pharmacist's Conscience revisited

The USA Today reports that there is a continued controversy over pharmacists who refuse to dispense some forms of birth control. (As you may recall, Karen Brauer, the "Hoosier Pharmer", was fired from K-Mart several years back for the same thing.)

Some on the Left see this as evidence that pro-lifers want to do a lot more than just limit abortion. But some forms of birth control do act as abortafacients, killing the embryo by starvation before it has a chance to implant in the woman's uterus. From the Planned Parenthood in the Chicago area:

Combined pills keep the ovaries from releasing eggs (ovulation). Progestin-only pills can also prevent ovulation. But they work mainly by thickening the cervical mucus. This prevents the sperm from joining with the egg. Combination pills may also thicken the cervical mucus. Both types of pill can also prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus.

As an aside, I find it very interesting that this web site on the national Planned Parenthood page used to say this: "Both types of pill can also prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus." However, when I checked the page this morning, that had been removed from the Web site. What is Planned Parenthood trying to hide? Why are they not telling the whole truth about the pill?

I see nothing wrong pharmacists refusing to fill scripts that they believe violates the oath they take to "do no harm". I have more commentary here and here.