There is one simple reason why a pharmacist’s personal beliefs should not factor into the dispensing of medication that, to me, takes precedence over all others.
Medications rarely, if ever, have one use. A single medication can be prescribed for a variety of reasons. This causes a problem: a pharmacist might refuse to dispense birth control pills on the religious grounds that the pill prevents conception and therefore prevents life. But what if the pill was not prescribed for prevention of pregnancy?
This is not an uncommon occurrence. There is a range of therapeutic value for birth control, from the treatment of severe acne to the regulation of much more serious medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, and dysmenorrhea, to name a few.
These are serious medical conditions that detract from the ability of a woman to carry out her day-to-day activities. For all you right-wing morality police, yes that includes the penultimate–birthing and raising children. Try disciplining little Bobby when your uterus is spinning excruciatingly painful scar tissue around your intestines, ovaries, vagina, stomach, and in some cases even lungs. If family values are your issue, then keep in mind that endometriosis can actually lead to infertility!!!
Furthermore, these conditions are not the business of anyone on the outside of the doctor-patient relationship. Second-guessing a doctor’s prescription for professional reasons is one thing; it ensures that the treatment is safe and appropriate. For a pharmacist to second-guess the purpose of a prescription, based solely upon religious reasons, is nothing short of misogyny at best (in this case). At worst it is potentially life-threatening.