Protection of Conscience Project
Protection of Conscience Project
Service, not Servitude

Service, not Servitude

Pharmacy Examining Board questions conscience rights of pharmacist

News Release

Wisconsin, USA

11 October, 2004

Pro-Life Wisconsin

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, Wisconsin.

"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.