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Protection of Conscience Project

www.consciencelaws.org

Service, not Servitude
Background

Procedures and Services


BIRTH CONTROL

"NO MORE CHRISTIAN DOCTORS"

Crusade against NFP-only physicians

"Religious beliefs should remain where they belong - in the private domain."

  • A 25 year old woman could not obtain a prescription for contraceptives at a clinic because the physician did not prescribe them for reasons of "medical judgment as well as professional ethical concerns and religious values."  She obtained the prescription at a clinic two minutes away. A crusade was started against the physician and two colleagues with the same views. Crusaders argued that in a 'secular' state health care system, physicians should be forbidden to act on their moral or religious beliefs.
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U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Approved Methods of Birth Control

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves drugs and devices that are used for birth control . . .  It refers globally to all of these birth control methods as "contraception" or "contraceptives." This terminology is highly contentious because it includes surgical sterilization, and because it ignores differences in the mechanisms of action of some products that are considered morally significant by many people. . .
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U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Approved Methods of Birth Control: Mechanisms of Action

  • The mechanism of action of birth control is morally significant for many people.  . . .  For this reason, manufacturers' statements about the mechanism of action are reproduced below, with links to the original statements. 
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Plan to Ensure Pill Access Worrying Pro-Life Pharmacists
(USA, Sept., 2006)

  • National Catholic Register | . . .Robert Muise, an attorney with Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. . . .argues that where a need for accessibility tries to trump conscience, it has little to do with access and everything to do with forcing an agenda on people of faith. . .
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Pharmacists' Lawsuits Highlight 'Right of Conscience' Rift

  • New Standard | With an appealing concept akin to "freedom of choice," religious conservatives have co-opted their pro-choice adversaries' language by arguing that healthcare workers should be "free" to deny providing contraception.
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Pharmacists Battling Lawsuits Over Conscience Issues
(USA, 2005)

  • National Catholic Register | This spring will see the 40th anniversary of the . . . legalization of contraception in the United States. Since then, many forms of birth control have become widely available by prescription and over the counter.  But Griswold did not require pharmacies to stock birth-control pills or contraceptive devices, or compel pharmacists to dispense them. . . now the growing controversy over the availability of the "morning-after" pill is placing more attention - and pressure - on pharmacists. . .
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Testimony of Pharmacist Noesen Re: Wisconsin Assembly Bill 63
(Wisconsin, USA: March, 2003)

  • Neil Noesen, R.Ph. | . . .Just as it is unethical for us to force our patients who are adults to adhere to a drug regimen, so is it also unethical to force practitioners to participate in specific actions involving what they believe would be a cooperation with abortions, assisted suicides, and euthanasia. . .
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Compulsory Choice
(USA: January, 2003)

  • Lynn Vincent | After ten years on the job, nurse Janice Turner, who refused to dispense the potentially embryocidal 'morning-after pill', was fired because a new supervisor believed that she was not a "complete nurse."
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Pro-life pharmacist thought she'd be blacklisted
(British Columbia, Canada: January, 2003)

  • BC Catholic | . . . For the past three years, Alarcon has been challenging the B.C. College of Pharmacists' Code of Ethics, which essentially requires that pharmacists violate their conscience when it comes to the belief that life is valuable from the moment of conception. . .
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Medical journal won't share birth-control image

  • Laureen McMahon | A B.C. medical magazine that recently featured a birth-control-wielding Aryan superhero on its front cover is shy about getting some free publicity.  The B.C. Medical Journal has turned down a request from an international watchdog group that wanted to distribute the image as part of a campaign in support of conscientious objection among medical personnel. . .
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Morning-after pill poses moral dilemma for some MDs
(Ontario, Canada: 2000)

  • The Standard | . . .Of the 10 doctors who rotate shifts in St. Catharines General hospital's emergency room, only one will not prescribe the emergency contraceptive pill on moral grounds. . .If a doctor is morally opposed to a medical treatment, it is his or her obligation to provide the patient with alternatives. . .
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