A Victory for Reproductive Rights in Illinois

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This post is several years old and may not reflect the current opinions of the author.

Finally, someone realizes that pharmacists’ morals should not trump the reproductive rights of women. CNN’s article Illinois governor: No delays in birth control prescriptions is the first real victory I’ve seen on the so-called “conscience clause” pharmacists. It’s refreshing to see legislation protecting the rights of women who need, and have legal rights to, birth control medication.

“Our regulation says that if a woman goes to a pharmacy with a prescription for birth control, the pharmacy or the pharmacist is not allowed to discriminate or to choose who he sells it to,” Blagojevich said. “No delays. No hassles. No lectures.”

One thing that defenders of the “conscience clause” forget (or ignore) is that these pharmacists are discriminating based on gender; it is women, not men, who are the ones being denied their birth control, being lectured, and in some cases having their prescription held hostage. These pharmacists are using their morals to force their choice on the woman, trumping her doctor’s advice and her own decision on her well-being. At least the Illinois government not only gets that, but also believes in a woman’s right to decide what’s best for her and her body.

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