Oct 22, 2008

I have issues with this....

If my doctor writes me a prescription, I do not agree that a pharmacist's personal belief's should decide whether he fills it or not. My husband disagrees with me. He is pro choice but he fought in the military for people's freedoms. Although he doesn't agree with everyone's freedoms, you should at least have those rights. I believe in personal freedoms. I respect the right for every American to have a voice. I just can't swallow this one..When I stand there with my prescription and this pharmacist refuses to fill it, than what about my freedom...I know, I know, go to another pharmacy....

Va. pharmacy follows faith, no birth control sales

Pam Semler, of Fairfax, Va., works the register at DMC Pharmacy in Chantilly...
2 hours ago
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CHANTILLY, Va. — A new drug store at a Virginia strip mall is putting its faith in an unconventional business plan: No candy. No sodas. And no birth control. Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy is among at least seven pharmacies across the nation that are refusing as a matter of faith to sell contraceptives of any kind, even if a person has a prescription.

States across the country have been wrestling with the issue of pharmacists who refuse on religious grounds to dispense birth control or morning-after pills, and some have enacted laws requiring drug stores to fill the prescriptions.

In Virginia, though, pharmacists can turn away any prescription for any reason.

"I am grateful to be able to practice," pharmacy manager Robert Semler said, "where my conscience will never be violated and my faith does not have to be checked at the door each morning."

Semler ran a similar pharmacy before opening the new store, which is not far from Dulles International Airport. The store only sells items that are health-related, including vitamins, skin care products and over-the-counter medications.

On Tuesday, the pharmacy celebrated a blessing from Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde. While Divine Mercy Care is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, it is guided by church teachings on sexuality, which forbid any form of artificial contraception, including morning-after pills, condoms and birth control pills, a common prescription used by millions of women in the U.S.

"This pharmacy is a vibrant example of our Holy Father's charge to all of us to wear our faith in the public square," said Loverde, who sprinkled holy water on the shelves stocked with painkillers and acne treatments. "It will allow families to shop in an environment where their faith is not compromised."

The drug store is the seventh in the country to be certified as not prescribing birth control by Pharmacists for Life International. The anti-abortion group estimates that perhaps hundreds of other pharmacies have similar policies, though they have not been certified.

Earlier this year in Wisconsin, a state appeals court upheld sanctions against a pharmacist who refused to dispense birth control pills to a woman and wouldn't transfer her prescription elsewhere. Elsewhere, at least seven states require pharmacies or pharmacists to fill contraceptive prescriptions, according to the National Women's Law Center. Four states explicitly give pharmacists the right to turn away any prescriptions, the group said.

The Virginia store's policy has drawn scorn from some abortion rights groups, who have already called for a boycott and collected more than 1,000 signatures protesting the pharmacy.

"If this emboldens other pharmacies in other parts of the state, it could really affect low-income and rural women in terms of access," said Tarina Keene, executive director of the Virginia chapter of the National Abortion Rights Action League.

Robert Laird, executive director of Divine Mercy Care, believes many of the estimated 50,000 Catholics within a few miles of the store will support its mission and make up for the roughly 10 percent of business that contraceptives represent in a typical pharmacy.

Whether Catholics will be drawn to the pharmacy is uncertain. According to a Gallup poll published last year for an extensive study of U.S. Catholicism called American Catholics Today, 75 percent of U.S. Catholics said you can still be a good Catholic even if you don't obey church teachings on birth control.

Catherine Muskett said she plans to shop at the drug store even though she lives more than 20 miles away.

"Obviously it's good to support pro-life causes. Every little bit counts," said Muskett, one of about 75 people who crowded into the tiny shop for Tuesday's ceremony.


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Pookie said...

You know Lori, if it was just the neighborhood CVS, I'd be totally with you; any pharmacist who goes to work in CVS knows up front that he will be called upon to fill contraceptive prescriptions, so if he accepts the job then he needs to fill it, regardless of his personal beliefs. However, this is a pharmacy that has opened its doors not selling contraceptives, and anyone who goes into it expecting to get them (or candy, or soda, or anything else that the store doesn't sell)is the one who is wrong. For example: If I open a record store and say that I will only sell gospel music, and someone comes in looking for secular, they can't get angry with me when I tell them that they can't get it. However, let's say that I work in a record store which not only sells all types of music, it allows music to be previewed before purchase. I am totally religious, and someone comes in wanting to preview a gangster hip-hop record that has a lot of cussing and calling women 'hoes', and I refuse to play it. I would be totally wrong. I accepted the job knowing the conditions that went with it, so I can't suddenly one day say "Oh no, I'm not going to play that because I don't like the cussing." Same with the pharmacist in Wisconsin, as opposed to this new pharmacy. The guy in Wisconsin was totally wrong. (IMO) This new pharmacy though, they have the right to open the store and run any way they want to, whether it makes any kind of rational sense to us or not.

Lori said...

My husband agrees with you. In the intelligent part of my brain so do I. In the emotional part,it is difficult. He said that once he saw the name of the pharmacy, Divine Mercy Care, he would have enough sense to figure out that they were spiritually driven. It just made me question what would happen if I showed up there with some other type of prescriptions. What about people who are written Suboxone or Methadone. Or what if an addict walked in and wanted to purchase a pack of syringes? You know that I am a believer in harm reduction, and when I see a pharmacy refusing one type of prescription it makes me question what others they might not fill. Kenny states that their main issue is they are pro-life and choose to work where their religious beliefs won't be compromised. He used the argument of needle exchange as an example. If I want to stand on a corner in Baltimore city and give out clean needles to reduce the spread of disease that might be my passion, but it might not make a lick of sense to anyone else. Hence the glory of living in America, where we all have the right to choose. So after re-thinking this, the last sentence in your comment kind of sums it all up. It is about the right to practice your belief. Doesn't mean I have to like or agree with that belief, just the freedom to pursue it.

Lori said...

Sorry,I got off on another tangent there.(just woke up)Your record store example was a very good one. I guess when you accept employment, you must make that personal decision whether or not it conflicts with moral and or religious beliefs.

Pookie said...

Exactly what I was staying Lori; they have the right to decide what works for them, just as we have the right to decide what works for us. What works for them might be the silliest thing we've ever heard of, and may actually cause some babies to be born to women who really can't afford then and then they'll end up putting the child up for adoption or even worse, putting it out in a field somewhere to die, all because they couldn't get birth control, but still, they have the right to believe what they want to believe.

Lori said...

And that is why I still live in America...for what it's worth...freedom of anything is priceless.