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Right of conscience for pharmacists proposed

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – A Missouri state senator has introduced legislation to allow pharmacists not to fill prescriptions for the morning-after pill.

Senator Jason Crowell says pharmacists should have the right to refuse such prescriptions based on moral objections.

In Illinois the governor passed an administrative rule requiring pharmacies to fill emergency contraception. And Walgreens placed four Metro-East pharmacists on leave when they refused to sign a statement agreeing to dispense the pills.

Crowell, a Republican from Cape Girardeau, says he wants Missouri to deal with the issue before major chains do.

We've seen the moral debate just across the river in Illinois where people are giving up high-paying jobs because they don't want to be faced with that moral dilemma, Crowell said.

The morning after pill can prevent pregnancies if taken up to three days after a woman has unprotected sex.

But critics say it's an early abortion because it prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. Others argue patients have a right to have their prescriptions filled.


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