Morning Roundup: Pharmacist Preferred to Have Woman Bleed Out

British advocates want to change medical abortion requirements, a pharmacist in Idaho refused to fill a prescription for a woman she believed had an abortion, Vanderbilt changes application letter, and Japanese teens are uninterested in sex.

  • The British Pregnancy Advisory Service is pushing for health authorities in that country to alter a 1967 law that requires any abortion procedure, even a medical abortion, to be provided at a health facility. Essentially, that means that women who choose to end a pregnancy non-surgically must still return to a clinic to take a second pill. The BPAS would like the law to be changed to allow women to take a second pill at home, as is the standard in many countries, including the United States.
  • Planned Parenthood of Idaho has filed a complaint with the state pharmacy board after a pharmacist refused to fill a prescription for a medication that stops bleeding after childbirth or abortion. After receiving the prescription, the pharmacist called Planned Parenthood to find out if the medication was prescribed because of an abortion. The practitioner refused to say, which would have been a violation of medical privacy laws, and was hung up on when she asked to have the prescription transferred. While Idaho law allows health care professionals – including pharmacists – to refuse to provide care if it violates their conscience, one hopes that does not translate to pharmacists being permitted to refuse life-saving medications that STOP BLEEDING because of their judgments on a woman’s private decision. Leaving a person to bleed to death in the street because you think maybe they didn’t follow your moral code? Doesn’t sound very pro-life to me.
  • In an update to yesterday’s item on Vanderbilt University’s nursing school application, the school has decided to include a letter with their application that states nurses can asked to exempt from assisting with abortion procedures on moral or religious grounds.
  • Japanese teens are increasingly uninterested in sex, according to a study published by the Japan Family Planning Association. Thirty-six percent of males and 59% of females ages 16-19 said they were “indifferent or averse” to having sex. That’s a 19% and 12% increase, respectively, since 2008. You know abstinence only advocates in the United States are salivating over those percentages.

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  • crowepps

    Seeing the so-called Christians insisting that women who want to refuse to care for patients who are ‘immoral’ still have a right to be nursing students at Vanderbilt and the pharmacist in Idaho insisting that she has a right to refuse to fill prescriptions for people who aren’t sufficiently moral, do those of us who live in this country and are just trying to access health care have a right to ask up front if those who want a share of our health dollars are willing to provide services?


    I mean, I really do understand that faith is really, really important to people.  My faith is really, really important to me.  One of the tenets of MY faith is that I don’t want to be ‘enabling’ any health care professional in any way who harasses patients they consider ‘immoral’ or refuses to provide care to them or is willing to let them bleed to death for being ‘bad’.  I want some assurances that not one penny of MY health care dollar will ever end up in the pocket of a witch burner/inquisitioner.

  • saltyc

    This “conscientious” individual would rather let a woman who gave birth bleed to death than risk possibly saving the life of a woman who had an abortion. Let that put the so-called “pro-life” movement in stark relief for anyone who has doubts as to the depth of their depravity.

  • squirrely-girl

    … but I would love to see more private businesses refusing services to these “conscientious” objectors… I mean, being “pro-life” is only protected by the law in some states and professions. Meaning, if I owned a restaurant or other business I imagine I could refuse to service these individuals on just about any grounds. 


    And before some people get up in arms about this, by its very nature, conscientious objection has never been confidential. 

  • princess-rot

    As someone pointed out on – I think it was on Livejournal – the state in which this happened was recently in uproar about Muslim taxi drivers refusing to transport dogs and drink because it was offensive to their faith. There was an awful lot of people complaining that if the drivers didn’t like it, they should get another job. Yet, when the same state legislature voted for conscience clauses for Christian pharmacists not to dispense to women whose actions the pharmacist “disagreed” with, barely a peep was heard, certainly not in mainstream news.


    In my opinion, this sort of bullshit is the logical conclusion of conscience clauses. It’s not hyperbolic to think that it will lead to petty discrimination, which will lead to harm and even death. If you can refuse someone medical treatment on the mere suspicion that they have had a procedure or taken an action you disagree with, there is rather too much scope for knee-jerk abuse.

  • crowepps

    Certainly conscience clauses would eventually make it almost impossible for anyone to run a business or staff a government agency.  A case from 2001 was a policeman who sued on the basis that his ’employer’ had failed to ‘accomodate his religious beliefs’.  He insisted he was entitled to an exemption from the regular duty of keeping the peace at a local casino because he felt gambling was ‘sinful’ and protecting the business and the customers would be ‘enabling sin’.  The Courts didn’t go for it at all.


    It’s interesting to consider just what life would be like if we could all pick and choose like that.  In order to protect themselves from discrimination lawsuits employers would be required to hire people who stated up front that they would do some parts of the job but not others.

    A hotel which couldn’t figure out some excuse to avoid hiring the ‘I live my morality’ applicant who allowed as how they would only check in businessmen and stranded travelers would have to also hire another staffer to have one on tap in case Mr. and Mrs. Jones, nudge nudge, wink wink, needed a room.


    A bar which was stuck hiring the teetotal Baptist who felt his conscience would only allow him to serve soft drinks and coffee would need another person on duty in case someone actually insisted on a beer.


    We don’t even need to get into the ordinary Safeway that has a Muslim or Orthodox Jewish applicant for the butchers’ position or the Top 40 radio station with an applicant for the morning drive time show whose conscience will only allow them to play Handel.

  • arekushieru

    …can I just state, how much I love Findlaw?

    Secondly, I feel this would NOT be applicable to regulations and rules that concern what apparel one wears or how they conduct themselves during the commission of their employment, other than to address any violation of ethical and human rights standards.

  • crowepps

    As I recollect, employers have been upheld in requiring that employees may not wear ANY jewelry at all, even though that included religious symbols, because it is not discriminatory to ban ALL, and in another case an employee who had a religious reason for wearing a beard was found to NOT have constitutional protection protecting his job because the beard interferred with his wearing a required face mask for safety reasons.  Don’t have/can’t find the cites right now.


    Like most things, this is matter of common sense and civility, which means that most of the ‘alarm’ and ‘harassment’ and ‘discrimination’ involves what I can only describe as rude drama queens.  Civil, rational people who have intensely held religious beliefs start out by sorting what’s available and applying only for jobs which comport with their beliefs instead of insisting they have a right to be hired for a job which offends them and then insist on lots of conditions about when they will deign to do so.

  • arekushieru

    Curious, though.  The protective wear couldn’t be adapted?

  • crowepps

    As I recall, it was the facemask to a self-contained breathing apparatus (like a scuba but for above ground fire fighting) that was designed to make an airtight seal against the skin of the face.  My recollection is the employer asserted that facial hair interferred with the seal.  I suppose if the employee and employer hadn’t gotten hostile an alternate system could have been found to do the same job in slightly different way, but instead everybody got their backs up and the employer insisted he needed to be able to wear whatever apparatus he happened to be closest to at the time of an emergency.


    Reading employment case law really gives you an appreciation for how important it is for people to respect and make an effort to get along with each other in a civil fashion, and how fast things can go bad when somebody on either side starts being pushy or rude.  Also makes me appreciate the people I know who ARE respectful and civil.