The Questionable Constitutionality of Conscientious Objection Clauses for Pharmacistsjournal of law and public policy (2007)
Increasingly, women seeking to fill prescriptions for birth control pills and emergency contraception are being turned away from pharmacy counters across the country as a result of "conscientious objection laws," also referred to as "conscience clauses" or "refusal clauses." ... Finally, the article concludes that the state may support a pharmacist's right to refuse to fill lawfully prescribed prescriptions for birth control and emergency contraception only under the most limited of circumstances, and therefore most conscientious objection laws are unconstitutional. ... This section evaluates whether conscientious objection laws that explicitly allow pharmacists to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions violate the Establishment Clause as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Lemon. ... As applied to the Lemon test, the South Dakota conscientious objection law, as well as analogous statutes, should be struck down because such laws lack a secular purpose. ... Consequently, supporters of conscientous objection laws contend the First Amendment demands pharmacists be able to decline to fill a prescription because to do otherwise would conflict with their religious belief that the prevention of conception is akin to taking a life.
Publication DateSpring June, 2007
Citation InformationNancy K Kubasek. "The Questionable Constitutionality of Conscientious Objection Clauses for Pharmacists" journal of law and public policy (2007)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/nancy_kubasek/4/