Pharmacy Examining Board questions conscience rights of pharmacist
11 October, 2004
Pro-Life Wisconsinites turned out in
support of pharmacist Neil Noesen at today's state Pharmacy Examining Board
disciplinary hearing on Noesen's conscientious refusal to dispense
abortion-causing drugs. The October 11th administrative law hearing focuses
on charges of "unprofessional conduct" relating to Noesen's refusal in 2002
to refill a script for birth control pills at a K-Mart in Menomonie,
"It's unconscionable that a health
professional is being put through such a disrespectful ordeal because of his
deeply held religious convictions," stated Peggy Hamill, state director of
Pro-Life Wisconsin. "Not only is this an infringement on Neil Noesen's free
exercise of religion, it will in the long run serve to aggravate the already
acute shortage of qualified pharmacists by discouraging people of faith from
entering the field."
The state of Wisconsin should not be in
the business of compelling pharmacists to be party to abortion. The morning
after pill and other hormonal birth control often act to cause early
chemical abortion by preventing a newly conceived child from implanting in
his or her mother's womb. Pharmacists must be free to exercise their
conscience in the workplace.
"Noesen's case points to the critical need for passage of Pharmacist
Conscience Clause legislation that would prohibit employment discrimination
against pharmacists who conscientiously refuse to dispense drugs and devices
they have reason to believe may cause abortion, assisted suicide or
euthanasia," stated Matt Sande, legislative director of Pro-Life Wisconsin.
Sande is in attendance at the hearing in support of Noesen.
"We need a commonsense extension of current law simply recognizing that
employers cannot force pharmacists to directly participate in what they know
to be the killing of another person," said Sande.