AUGUSTA, March 24, 2004 ( – Maine has passed a bill “allowing” pharmacists to dispense the abortifacient morning after pill over the counter. Governor Balducci praised the bill as, “another milepost in the advancement of reproductive rights for women in Maine.”

The bill was supported not only by pro-abortion “women’s rights” activists, but also by some who oppose abortion. Sen. Lynn Bromley, D-South Portland, said, “Regardless of the position my colleagues had on legal abortion, we all recognized the need to address the issue of unintended pregnancy and perhaps as a result change the future for these women.”

Sean Murphy of the British Columbia-based Protection of Conscience Project said that pharmacists are being forgotten in the eagerness to promote the morning after pill. He said, “The pharmacists are the ones at the front lines right now. They are often seen by the public as being the medical equivalent of a cold beer and wine store. Their expertise is not recognized.”  Pharmacists’ professional associations are usually hostile to conscience protection and although doctors often have protection of conscience legislation, rarely do such laws exist to protect pharmacists. “There is no existing statute protecting pharmacists in Maine,” said Murphy. “Another problem is that most pharmacists are not self-employed; the chains are interested in the bottom line and aren’t friendly to conscientious objection.”

Maine News coverage:


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