Is it freedom of religion, freedom of expression, or a violation of one's obligation to an employer when pharmacists refuse to sell the morning after pill?
Washington state pharmacists think requiring them to sell the morning after pill is a violation of their 1st Amendment rights, and are suing the state over a new law requiring them to sell the pill. (Via ifeminists).
In a lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday, a pharmacy owner and two pharmacists say the rule that took effect Thursday violates their civil rights by forcing them into choosing between "their livelihoods and their deeply held religious and moral beliefs."
"The stakes really couldn't be much higher," plaintiffs' attorney Kristen Waggoner said.
The state ruled earlier this year that druggists who believe emergency contraceptives are tantamount to abortion cannot stand in the way of a patient's right to the drugs.
I agree with the principle that we shouldn't be forced to sell things which violate our freedom of conscience, but that doesn't mean an employer doesn't have a right to expect a person to perform his/her job. In short, if you don't like portions of the job, then do something else (or find an employer who will work with you).
I don't think there's a constitutional right to the morning after pill, and the law may be a bit heavy-handed here. And, indeed, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for one's religious preferences. But the requirement of accommodation stops where such accommodation becomes an "undue hardship." Is allowing pharmacists to refuse to distribute the morning after pill an undue hardship? I'm not sure. I can see both sides of that argument.