New Jersey Forces Pharmacists to Dispense Abortifacient Drugs Regardless of Conscience
The state of New Jersey has passed a law denying the conscientious objection right of pharmacists, won in other states through lengthy court battles, to refrain from dispensing abortifacient and contraceptive drugs.
“Discussions of morals and matters of conscience are admirable, but should not come into play when subjective beliefs conflict with objective medical decisions,” said state Sen. Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, a bill sponsor.
The decision comes just days after Pope Benedict XVI gave his support to pharmacists worldwide who reject the culture of death in their profession.
“Pharmacists must seek to raise people’s awareness so that all human beings are protected from conception to natural death, and so that medicines truly play a therapeutic role,” the pope said on Monday.
He called the right of conscientious objection, “a right that must be recognized for people exercising this profession, so as to enable them not to collaborate directly or indirectly in supplying products that have clearly immoral purposes such as, for example, abortion or euthanasia.”
The New Jersey law was passed in the context of numerous battles in courts and legislatures between pro-abortion governors and pharmacists fighting for conscience rights currently raging across the US.
Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich was forced by courts to back down on a law similar to that passed last week in New Jersey. The order attempted to force pharmacists in Illinois to dispense death-dealing drugs, was recently obliged by the courts to back down. The decision followed a long-running dispute between four pharmacist employees of Walgreens stores who were fired when they refused to dispense abortifacient drugs.
The American Center for Law and Justice, a public interest law firm, sued Walgreens on behalf of their former employees, saying the company had violated the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act, which makes it illegal for any employer “to discriminate against any person in any manner … because of such person’s conscientious refusal … to participate in any way in any form of health care services contrary to his or her conscience.”