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December 1, 2011

Washington State, Abortion, and Government Regulation

by Rev. A. J. Iovine

“Margo Thelen has worked as a licensed pharmacist (in Washington State) for more than 35 years. She cannot in good conscience dispense Plan B due to the drug’s abortifiacient potential. Now her employer can no longer afford to accommodate her, and she lost her job. Rhonda Mesler manages a pharmacy; she will likely lose her job if the regulations stand. Stormans, Inc., is a family-owned businesses that operates a pharmacy in Olympia. The Stormans believe that human life begins at fertilization, and they cannot in good conscience allow their store to dispense Plan B, though they’re willing to refer customers to any of the 33 nearby pharmacies that do. Their business soon became the target of a state investigation. The governor’s mansion piled on to the boycott that ensued, setting a powerful example by cancelling its own account with another Stormans store. After years of litigation and false promises by the state, the case will go to trial in late November.

“Unfortunately, attacks on freedom of conscience in the healthcare industry are becoming more frequent. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued new guidelines listing “preventative care” benefits for women that all insurance plans must cover, without copay or deductible. Some of the requirements are benign, like requiring that cancer screenings be covered. However, the guidelines also demand that employers cover every FDA-form of sterilization and contraception that FDA has ever approved, including controversial emergency contraceptives like ella and Plan B.”

For the Christian Church, abortion is wrong. Period. For men and women who work in the pharmaceutical industry, whether studying new medicines or dispensing it, the wanton destruction of innocent human life is something we Christians stand up to oppose. When the government begins to punish the moral, ethical, and religious beliefs of its citizens to fit some political agenda, we have gone too far as a nation. The governor of Washington State should be embarrassed at her actions to punish pharmacists who oppose the distribution of pills that destroy innocent human life.

Story Link to the Wall Street Journal:

Gov. Gregoire vs. Religious Liberty
From the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

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