Senia Hiltunen is the Fundraising and Policy Intern for NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota.
Picture this; you go into a pharmacy to refill your prescribed birth control from your doctor. You hand the pharmacist your prescription, and he gets a weird look on his face. Then, he hands back your prescription and tells you that they cannot fill your PRESCRIBED birth control because it is against his moral beliefs. You leave the pharmacy empty-handed, feeling ashamed and embarrassed. This picture of a story is real. It has happened before, even in this state. Actually, only seven states hold pharmacies accountable if their pharmacists block women from getting birth control prescriptions filled. This is WRONG!
Letting a pharmacist lecture a woman about birth control or emergency contraception is not only humiliating for the woman, but also an overstep of authority for the pharmacist. Birth control is a prescribed medication from a doctor who has seen and validated it as a medical need. As for emergency contraception, it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for over-the-counter sale to adults. For pharmacists to use their personal beliefs to interfere with essential women’s healthcare is an insult to women and medical professionals alike.
But now, there is a way you can help stop this ridiculous practice.
It’s called the Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act, sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Sen. Frank Lautneberg (D-NJ.) If enacted, it would ensure that a pharmacist’s personal beliefs do not hinder a women’s right by making sure that pharmacies have policies in place to guarantee timely access to prescription medicines for paying customers. With the ABC Act, Congress has an opportunity to give women control over their reproductive health by ensuring access to birth control, the most commonsense way to prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce the need for abortion.
NARAL needs YOU to help pass this crucial piece of legislation by contacting your U.S. representatives and senators, and urge them to co-sponsor and pass the ABC Act.
NARAL has set up a way where you can easily contact them here.
So, please join me and NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota in standing up against rogue pharmacists and supporting the ABC Act to ensure access to birth control for everyone, everywhere in the U.S.