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Contraceptive Refusal or Conscience Clauses


You have probably heard in the news media, of the controversy surrounding pharmacist’s right to deny filling a prescription for emergency contraception. What you may not know, is that it may also include birth control, in any form. Including condoms & the birth control pill. The refusal clause, or conscience clause as it is called, provides that the pharmacist have a legal right based on personal religious beliefs, to refuse to fill a medication. In some cases the refusal clause has, an even wider spectrum that includes allowing doctors the right to refuse treatments or procedures that go against the doctor’s faith based beliefs.

States that have some law, policy, or regulation giving the right to individual providers to refuse contraception prescriptions are-

Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Mississippi, Tennessee, & Washington

States that have some law, policy, or regulation giving the right to pharmacists to refuse contraception prescriptions are-

Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Mississippi, South Dakota, & Tennessee

States that have some law, policy, or regulation giving the right to pharmacies to refuse contraception prescriptions are-

Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Mississippi, & Tennessee

States that have some law, policy, or regulation giving the right to Institutions to refuse contraception prescriptions are-

Illinois, Mississippi, & Washington

States that have some law, policy, or regulation giving the right to Private Institutions to refuse contraception prescriptions are-

Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, & Tennessee, Washington

In Wisconsin & Illinois Pharmacies are required by state law to fill contraceptive prescriptions & New Jersey has a policy for requiring pharmacies to fill them.

In California, a pharmacist is only allowed to refuse to fill a prescription when the employer approves it, and the patient is referred to a place a prescription can be filled in reasonable time.

In Arizona, there is ongoing litigation proceedings regarding contraception, therefore no laws are in effect pending the outcome.

States that have no restrictions on prescription contraception are-

Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, & Wyoming.

Where does your state rank, in the right to choose your contraception, and how do you feel about its stance?
I welcome your ideas, & you can post discussions and feedback in the Pro-Choice BellaOnline Forums.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Gregory. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Suzanne Gregory. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Suzanne Gregory for details.

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