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Idaho health board upholds Walgreens pharmacist’s conscience rights

Idaho state law explicitly allows health care workers to refuse to provide care related to abortion.
Tue Feb 1, 2011 - 6:17 pm EST

NAMPA, Idaho, February 1, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Idaho Board of Pharmacy has sided with a Walgreens pharmacist after Planned Parenthood tried to penalize her for refusing to fill a prescription requested by the abortion organization.

The board said it lacked basis for proceedings when Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest (PPGNW) complained to officials of the pharmacist’s refusal to fill a prescription for Methergine, which is used to prevent bleeding after abortions or after childbirth, according to the Idaho-Press Tribune.

The pharmacist allegedly declined to fill the prescription after the Planned Parenthood employee seeking the drugs refused to state whether the drug would be used to assist an abortion, citing patient confidentiality. The Walgreens employee also refused to provide a referral for Planned Parenthood’s request.

Idaho state law explicitly allows health care workers to refuse to provide care related to abortion, abortifacient emergency contraception, or euthanasia based on conscientious objections.

While PPGNW claimed the pharmacist overstepped the allowances of the law, Idaho Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Mark Johnston told the abortion group in a letter that the pharmacist was within her rights to learn whether the prescription would have been used to assist an abortion.

Johnston said that the patient’s health was not unduly jeopardized, as the patient received treatment elsewhere, and thus the investigation was closed.

Kristen Glundberg-Prossor, spokeswoman for PPGNW, said last week that the abortion organization would work to dismantle the law protecting conscience rights either by repealing the law or changing regulations guiding its implementation.


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