22 J. Contemp. Health L. & Pol'y 349 (2005-2006)
An Essential Prescription: Why Pharmacist-Inclusive Conscience Clauses Are Necessary

handle is hein.journals/jchlp22 and id is 357 raw text is: AN ESSENTIAL PRESCRIPTION:
WHY PHARMACIST-INCLUSIVE CONSCIENCE
CLAUSES ARE NECESSARY
Brian P. Knestoutl
Four states, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and South Dakota, have
enacted statutes specifically protecting pharmacists from liability for
refusing to fill birth control pill or emergency contraception pill (ECP)
prescriptions.2 At least 14 other states have considered, or are considering,
similar legislation.3 These pharmacist-specific statutes are closely related to
existing conscience clause4 statutes, passed in 46 states, which protect
medical professionals who do not wish to perform or assist in procedures
related to abortion, sterilization, or euthanasia.5
1. J.D. candidate, 2006, The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of
Law; B.A., B.A. 1991, Villanova University, Villanova Pa.; M.A. 1995, University of
Delaware. The author would like to thank Prof. George P. Smith, II for his help in
conceiving and executing this Comment. The author also wishes to thank his wife,
Catherine Tramontana, his daughter, Teresa, and his son, Luke, for their forgiveness of
his absences on so many nights and weekends.
2. See ARK. CODE ANN. 20-16-304(4) (2005); id. 20-16-601(a) (2005); GA.
COMP. R. & REGS. R. 480-5-.03(n) (2001); MISS. CODE ANN.  41-107-3(b), -5(1) (2004);
S.D. CODIFIED LAWS 36-11-70 (2003).
3. Tresa Baldas, Fighting Refusal to Treat 'Conscience' Clauses Hit the Courts,
NAT'L L. J., Feb. 7, 2005, at 1, 1; National Conference of State Legislatures, Pharmacist
Conscience Clauses: Laws and Legislation, http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/
conscienceclauses.htm (last visited Aug. 1, 2006).
4. Depending on the political spectrum of the individual, the phrase conscience
clause is a debatable point in itself; those who find such statutes problematic often refer
to them as refusal clauses. Since a large portion of the legal literature uses the term
conscience clause, this paper will refer to such clauses with that terminology.
5. For a comprehensive review of state conscience clause statutes, see Lynn D.
Wardle, Protecting the Rights of Conscience of Health Care Providers, 14 J. LEGAL MED.
177 (1993).

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