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Balancing Conscience and the Law

Paul Rosenzweig

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In Wisconsin, a pharmacist who is a devout Christian refused to fill a woman's prescription for birth-control pills. He also refused to transfer the prescription to another pharmacy. He now faces disciplinary action.

In Texas, another pharmacist refused to fill the prescription for a morning-after pill requested by a rape victim -- again, because of his religious convictions. Though Texas has a law that allows any doctor, nurse or hospital employee to opt out of an abortion procedure to which he or she has religious objections, it isn't clear whether the law covers pharmacists or morning-after pills. The Texas pharmacist has been fired.

These cases are not unusual. Other disputes involving pharmacists whose religious conscience will not allow them to fill a prescription have surfaced in a half-dozen other states. So the question naturally arises: How should the law react to these events? Such an inquiry requires us to examine the role of religion and law in the public square.

Read the entire article on the Heritage Foundation website.

Posted: 4/28/04



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