The Catholic Advocate Network out of Sioux Falls has picked up on SB 164, the bill in the South Dakota legislature to take away the right of a pharmacist to exercise their conscience in issuing dangerous drugs and abortifacents.
They have issued a comprehensive fact sheet that outlines the ramifications of this bill, and why it is based on a number of fallacious arguments.
Some of the consequences of SB 164:
- Takes away the right of a pharmacist to exercise his or her conscience in issuing drugs that may cause the abortion of a newly conceived human being
- Indirectly attempts to revise the definition of "unborn child" in South Dakota Codified Law 22-1-2(50A) which defines an unborn child as "an individual organism of the species homo sapiens from fertilization until live birth"
- Refers to "government intrusions" by "government entities" in such a way that contextually implies that pharmacists are government entities, and that by exercising their conscience, they are imposing a "government intrusion" on a woman seeking contraceptives or abortifacients
- Is written broadly to include "consenting individuals" which may also mean minors could have access to birth control without their parents knowledge or permission
The fact sheet also reveals the fallacious arguments which motivates such a bill:
- That greater access to contraceptives reduces abortion (it doesn't)
- That emergency contraception or Plan B doesn't induce abortions (it can)
- That laws providing greater access to contraceptives for teens reduces teen abortion rates (it doesn't)
Contrary to the odd language of this bill, instead of preventing "government intrusions," this bill would constitute a government intrusion upon the right of pharmacist to follow their conscience when it comes to selling drugs they believe are immoral. We don't really want people who ignore their conscience to be dispensing drugs, do we?
If you're a South Dakota citizen who believes pharmacists should not be robots, but should be able to exercise their conscience when it comes to selling drugs that can cause harm to human beings, and find some of the other effects of this bill undesirable, you may want to contact your legislators and the members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill is scheduled for a hearing before that committee this coming Monday on Feb. 4.
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