Birth control prescriptions; pharmacist who refuses to fill ensure patient treated nonjudgmentally. (HB2373)

Introduced By

Del. David Englin (D-Alexandria) with support from co-patrons Del. Margi Vanderhye (D-McLean), Del. Jeion Ward (D-Hampton), Del. Vivian Watts (D-Annandale), Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), and Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Pharmacies; filling birth control prescriptions. Requires any pharmacist who refuses to fill a prescription for contraception to ensure that the patient seeking such contraception is treated in a nonjudgmental manner and is not subjected to indignity, humiliation, or breeches in confidentiality, and states that the pharmacist shall not confiscate such prescription. Also requires any pharmacy holding a permit issued by the Board that refuses to fill or refill prescriptions for contraceptives to place a conspicuous notice as close as possible to the pharmacy counter that states, in both English and Spanish, "THIS PHARMACY WILL NOT FILL OR REFILL BIRTH CONTROL PRESCRIPTIONS" in at least 30-point boldface type. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
01/14/2009Committee
01/14/2009Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/09 094089500
01/14/2009Referred to Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions
01/27/2009Tabled in Health, Welfare and Institutions (14-Y 8-N) (see vote tally)

Comments

cindy writes:

Shame on Pharmacist who refuse to fill birth control prescriptions.Better work on a bill providing women with internet providers so that prescriptions can be delivered to the privacy of their home.

Anne Haynes writes:

Medicine and all it's branches including pharmacy are to do no harm and should fill preseciptions without political bias

Mary Ann Kreitzer writes:

All the chemical birth control prescriptions are abortifacient at least some of the time, usually by preventing implantation 7-10 days after conception. Forcing a pharmacist to fill a prescription to kill a tiny baby is immoral. Health workers and pharmacists have a right to exercise their consciences. These drugs are rarely used for medical reasons, but are part of a social experiment. One of the unforeseen consequences are hormones in the public water that are causing genetic mutations in fish causing male fish to develop eggs. What are they doing to humans?

Waldo Jaquith writes:

All the chemical birth control prescriptions are abortifacient at least some of the time, usually by preventing implantation 7-10 days after conception.

That's not true. The medical definition of "conception" is implantation. Prior to implantation, the egg is merely "fertilized." At that stage it's not a fetus, but a "zygote" or a "blastocyst." Consequently, birth control pills are incapable of causing abortions, and it is factually incorrect to label them "abortifacients."

Forcing a pharmacist to fill a prescription to kill a tiny baby is immoral.

This is wrong for three reasons.

1. It's not "a tiny baby." It's a zygote. A zygote is not alive, ergo, it can't be killed.

2. A pharmacist's sole job is to act on the directions of a doctor. S/he could be replaced by a vending machine. It is up to a doctor to determine what medications that a patient should have, not a pharmacist. If a pharmacist is not willing to dispense the drugs prescribed by a physician, s/he should be fired. Would it be OK for a pharmacist to refuse to prescribe strong painkillers to a cancer patient, because they could be used to commit suicide? Should we allow Christian Scientist pharmacists, who would refuse to fill any prescriptions, because otherwise we'd be forcing them to do something that they don't want to? Should restaurants be compelled to hire vegetarians who refuse to serve meat? Or can we all agree that would be foolish? (Given your writings on the topic, I suspect you might actually support this.)

3. There are many reasons why women are prescribed various forms of birth control, and birth control is only one of those reasons. Endometriosis, for instance, is found in 5-10% of women. It's quite painful, the standard treatment is oral contraceptives. Withholding progesterone from an endometriosis sufferer is just sick.

Estrogen, progestogen, antiprogestogen and Ormeloxifene are medications that are prescribed for many reasons, birth control and otherwise. Any pharmacist who refuses to provide a medication ordered by a physician should lose his license.

David Weintraub writes:

"Any pharmacist who refuses to provide a medication ordered by a physician should lose his license."

Absolutely right. That is the job description of a pharmacist - if, for whatever reason, a person cannot perform this job, they need to choose a different career.

You have to wonder about someone who thinks that women having control over whether they reproduce is a "social experiment."

LarryG writes:

I would say that the way the law might work is that any Pharmacy that does not dispense all legitimate prescriptions - can lose it's license.

Then let the Pharmacy decide if it can afford to employ people who do not want to fill certain prescriptions.

For giggles and grins, let,s also fine the Pharmacy $1000 per failure to dispense and half of it would go to the customer who was discriminated against.

geronimo writes:

Waldo, a better analogy would be: Should a vegetarian restaurant be forced to serve meat? Consistency would require you to answer in the affirmative. And you are wrong about the facts of human reproduction. Changing the names of things and redefining terms to serve an ideology does not change the facts. Redefining a Jew or an African as subhuman does not change the fact that they are human. A zygote is the scientific term for a very young human being. How does it hurt you if those of us who don't want to take part in the killing refuse to do so? We are not keeping you from killing your own children. You are still free to do so. After all, are we a diverse, tolerant society or are you tolerant only of those who believe the same as you? Think about it. Tolerate diversity.

Bill Vinet writes:

This bill stinks!
Bill Vinet

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Waldo, a better analogy would be: Should a vegetarian restaurant be forced to serve meat?

No, that is a worse analogy. The types of foods that restaurants choose serve is not regulated; there is nobody telling them what they can and cannot serve. Employees of restaurants are regulated, by the owners of the restaurant.

And you are wrong about the facts of human reproduction. Changing the names of things and redefining terms to serve an ideology does not change the facts.

I made a claim and backed it up with a peer-reviewed medical citation. You made a claim and...um...left it at that. Fail.

Redefining a Jew or an African as subhuman does not change the fact that they are human.

Implying that I'm racist? Double fail.

After all, are we a diverse, tolerant society or are you tolerant only of those who believe the same as you? Think about it. Tolerate diversity.

I appreciate your ringing endorsement of teaching students about safe sex and homosexuality.

You know, as long as we're grossly misrepresenting each other's beliefs.

geronimo writes:

Waldo, let me try to clear things up for you.
If you don't like the menu at a restaurant, then don't go there. But don't expect the government to tell a vegetarian restaurant to serve meat. Likewise, if you don't like that the pharmacist won't help you kill your kid, then go to a different pharmacist who will.
Concerning your acceptance of peer-reviewed medical citations - I suppose you will also accept the peer-reviewed medical citations of Nazi Germany? They must be true since they are "peer-reviewed medical citations".
I never mentioned the word racist, you did. Are you calling yourself a racist?
Concerning teaching students about safe sex and homosexuality - our public schools already do that, Waldo - you need to get with modern age. But you didn't answer my question about tolerating diversity. Are you tolerant only of those who believe the same as you? I am being truly tolerant. I will tolerate your killing your kid, but you won't tolerate my pharmacist refusing to help you.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Ah, good old Godwin's Law—not content to imply that I believe non-whites are sub-human, you then invoked Hitler on your second comment! You lose.

geronimo writes:

Waldo, you seem to be a little touchy here - I am merely pointing out the logical conclusions to your arguments. And you still haven't answered my question about tolerating diversity. Based on your comments, I can only conclude that you tolerate only those who believe what you believe.

mather writes:

Waldo, if your argument can't stand on its own merits, saying things like "Fail, Double Fail, You Lose" doesn't give you more credence. It's just juvenile.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I'm not about to discuss legislation with somebody who is going to resort to calling me a racist and compare science to Nazis. It's a complete waste of time. Clearly your mind is made up, and you won't be bothered with the facts.

geronimo writes:

Waldo, you are the one whose mind is made up. You refuse to tolerate anyone who has a different belief than you. Look in the mirror to see someone who can't be bothered with facts. Instead of making a logical argument and sticking to facts, you whine about being called a racist. Nobody called you a racist - you were the one who first mentioned the word "racist". And let me remind you that the Nazis had some of the world's best scientists working for them, so the terms Nazi and science are not incompatible. Why can't you tolerate someone with different beliefs than yourself. Why do you insist on forcing my pharmacist to help you kill your kid. If you want to kill your kid, go ahead, I'm not stopping you. Learn to tolerate diversity - stop being so intolerant. To paraphrase the abortion lobby - if you don't like my pharmacist, then don't go to him.

Lee writes:

Freedom of Choice for everyone except certain people, i.e. people who dissent from the current wisdom. People who don't believe in sexual license, abortifacients, abortions, etc. Aren't there enough CVS, Rite-Aids, Walgreens around as dispensers of condoms, birth control devices/pills, etc,?
Spare us your hypocrisy about freedom of choice....

frances roehm writes:

As I see it, no one is forcing anyone to get an abortion. Even though this is Virginia, may I remind you that this is America. Birth control gives a woman the right to make a choice about when she will take on the role of motherhood. That is her business and her choice. If on the other hand you believe that intercourse between men and women is only for procreation then go ahead and procreate. That would be your choice. While you are at it, if you are so worried about zygotes not being brought to fruition, why don't you put your beliefs into action and start adopting all of the children that need loving homes. If you don't want to go that far, how about creating programs that provide a living wage for the women who want to raise their children so that they become productive human beings. As I see it, to live in Virginia as a woman means that we are nothing more than breeding stock.

frances roehm writes:

As an add on to my last post, it's bad enough that a rapist an incestor or an abusive husband but now a pharmacist has control over my body and my family planning. Is Virginia a great state or what?