Illinois action blog

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pope urges pharmacists not to dispense EC

Taking the Vatican's stance against birth control one step further, last week the Pope urged Catholic pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception (EC) and other "immoral" drugs. Miss Weird Science has an excellent post about the Pope's announcement on her blog.

I'm going to avoid going into a long rant about all of my frustrations with the Pope's stance on this issue, but basically it's another thing to file in the "things that people against abortion do that make abortion MORE likely" folder. I mean, really - if you want to prevent unintended pregnancy (and therefore the likelihood that someone would get an abortion) what better way to do it than make birth control as accessible as possible?

Unfortunately, the Pope's stance also undermines a pharmacist's obligation to respect decisions that are made between a doctor and a patient. I would say that it's a pharmacist's moral duty NOT to force his or her personal morality on someone else, but to respect each patients' moral compass. A pharmacist is hired to be a pharmacist, not a judge.

There’s been considerable opposition to the Pope's statements within some primarily Catholic communities. Soon after the Pope made his announcement, Italian Health Minister, Livia Turco, denounced his call. "I don't think his warning to pharmacists to be conscientious objectors to the morning-after-pill should be taken into consideration," Turco said.

Also, the Chilean Government has warned that it will close pharmacies that refuse to sell emergency contraception. Chilean Health Minister Soledad Barria has said that pharmacies have no excuse for not selling the pill. You can read more about that story at the International Herald Tribune.

Technorati tags: birth control, Pope, Catholicism, emergency contraception, Planned Parenthood Action Illinois,

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Blogger Jennifer said...

The problem is that he's the &%$#@! Pope. You just can't tell the head of the Catholic Church to stop forcing his morality on others. The way Catholics see it, he's the representative of the lord god almighty here on earth and his word is infallible, end of story. Imposing morality on others is in the dang job description.

I'm not agreeing, I'm just saying that the obvious way to attack this won't work. Yelling at the Pope for causing more abortions won't do any good. Convincing lay Catholics, especially those who happen to be pharmacists, that his papal bullfrogs is absolutely nutters might do the trick, though.

November 6, 2007 at 3:56 PM  

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