The smartest take I’ve seen on these so-called “conscience clauses” for pharmacists is most of the way down here:

Four states already have laws that specifically allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions that violate their beliefs.

Here’s the plan for when I get canned:

1. Move to one of these four states.
2. Become pharmacist.
3. Convert to Christian Science.
4. Get paid for doing NOTHING and they can’t fire me!

Posted by Sarcastro at March 28, 2005 04:23 PM

Goddamn! I shoulda taken more biochemistry in college.

But, y’know, pharmacists need these provisions for the same reason people need to be able to file for Conscientious Objector status within the military. Like soldiers, pharmacists are required to serve the full terms of their contracts (which are subject to unilateral extension or “stop loss” policies at the whim of the Department of Health and Human Services); pharmacists who leave their jobs during an epidemic are subject to the death penalty. Moreover, all high school chemistry students must register with the Selective Health Services department and will be subject to a draft in the event of a severe shortage of pharmacists. So it’s a testament to this country’s commitment to religious freedom that we allow Christian Scientists to perform community service web-surfing, rather than conscripting them into passing out drugs!

Free! And! Democratic!


  1. Rana wrote:

    Excellent. Truly excellent!
    (Things like this make me want to hoard up great quantities of reproductive medicines, in the case D. gets a job in an unfriendly state.)

  2. Redneck Feminist wrote:

    Another thing about these “conscience clauses”… why do Republicans support them? A Republican should think that businesses have the right to make the decision, and the state should have nothing to say about it. I mean, let’s say I’m working as a cashier at Target and I’m morally opposed to selling Maxim magazine, or condoms, or alcohol. Do I get a conscience clause? No. Target can tell me to sell the stuff or be fired. That’s their right!
    There are some pharmacies who will voluntarily have a conscience clause. But most will want to do what’s best for their business, which is to require their pharmacists to sell the products offered. Otherwise, a customer will patron another pharmacy where she doesn’t have to deal with the bullshit. And that means another pharmacy will get the rest of her business too– meaning all the other items she buys when she stops in to get her birth control.
    Funny how some Republicans hail the free market only when it suits them.

  3. yami wrote:

    You’re confusing “Republican” with “libertarian” though. The modern GOP is as concerned with government-enforced cultural conservatism as it is with providing institutional entrenchment for large-scale capitalists…
    I will enthusiastically boycott any pharmacies who fail to fire such conscience-ridden employees, for sure. But I still worry about the proverbial small town in West Texas – particularly with regards to emergency contraception, which can’t be plausibly dealt with through mail-order.

  4. Redneck Feminist wrote:

    Yes, I agree that that is the state of the modern GOP. But somehow they have managed to convince some libertarian-minded citizens that the GOP believes in economic freedom/small government– and that the Dems are the party of big government. It’s AMAZING how many people really believe that.
    Thanks for linking to Amanda’s post. I haven’t been reading blogs as much these days and hadn’t seen that one. I’ve lived in rural areas all my life, and she hit the nail on the head with that post.

  5. yami wrote:

    Yeah, I’m baffled too! I’ve had discussions with some nominally small-gov’t Republicans that indicate they don’t really care about the size of government w.r.t. spending levels, they’re mostly concerned about the size of their tax bill fiscal sanity be damned. I guess the GOP makes sense from that perspective.
    Some also seem to be concerned about regulations that would “hurt business” vs. creating a “business-friendly” government – and I suspect there’s some serious conflation of the free market with the corporate-subsidizing State going on there.
    I’ve certainly suggested that libertarian-minded citizens should vote for Democrats on grounds of civil liberty and fiscal sanity. But since I’m really an old-fashioned tax’n’spend liberal my suggestions are automatically suspect. Have you had more luck in that regard? Or do you pull for the Libertoonian Party?

  6. Redneck Feminist wrote:

    I find that once I establish myself as a non-socialist, non-leftist, those people are willing to listen to me. It’s sad, really, that they have bought into the right-wing’s labelling of “liberals”. I have to carefully avoid being labeled a liberal in order for them to listen– even though “liberal” in the classical sense basically means “libertarian” in today’s sense.
    There are a lot of loons in the Libertarian Party. In the last election, I voted for one local Libertarian and that’s it. I also voted for one non-fundamentalist Republican, and the rest Democrats. I researched which candidates had a history of expanding government, and most of the time it was the GOP candidates.
    The major problems libertarians have with the current GOP are:
    -government expansion
    -huge twin deficits
    -religious fundamentalism
    I’ll post some Reason links to my blog later today– they’ve had some great articles lately. Another good source specific to the Dem Party is the “Democratic Freedom” blog

  7. Michael ejercito wrote:

    1.-If you believe certain drugs are unclean for religious reasons, do not work in a pharmacy that sells unclean drugs.
    2.-If you believe certain foods are unclean for religious reasons, do not work in a store that sells unclean food.
    3.-If you act contrary to #1, and #2, do not complain if you get your dumb ass shitcanned.
    4. If you act contrary to #3, better people need the food and oxygen being wasted to keep your dumb ass alive.

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