This year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance to retail pharmacies regarding elective abortion prescriptions.
In its guidance, the department outlined denying filling a prescription that would induce an abortion violates the civil rights of women seeking to terminate a pregnancy.
The guidance from HHS, according to a number of congressional Republicans, is an infringement upon the First Amendment rights of pharmacists who hold religious objections to abortion.
The “Pharmacist Conscience Protection Act,” introduced Wednesday by U.S. Rep. Earl Carter (R-Ga.), would ensure pharmacists have the right to adhere to their conscience in electing to deny filling abortion-related prescriptions.
U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville), a cosponsor of the bill, said in a Wednesday news release that the legislative effort was formed to shield pharmacists from the Biden administration’s “radical policies” surrounding abortion.
“Pharmacists should not be forced to surrender their First Amendment rights of religious freedom because of radical policies from the Biden Administration,” said Aderholt. “It’s unfortunate that we need conscience protections like these, but it’s the only way to keep the overbearing Biden Administration from forcing private citizens to violate strongly held convictions.”
If the bill is enacted, government “may not penalize, treat adversely, retaliate against, or otherwise discriminate against a specified health care provider, or take any action that has such effect, on the basis that the specified health care provider does not or declines to store or fill a prescription, or make a referral, for a drug that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to cause an abortion or that the specified health care provider in good faith believes may be used to cause an abortion.”
As of reporting time, the “Pharmacist Conscience Protection Act” has been cosponsored by 26 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL