Thursday, April 07, 2005
Conscience Clauses: Let Businesses Decide
This one is a no-brainer for me: let the businesses decide. Here's basically what I said in my comments on the other blogs:
Why do Republicans support "conscience clauses"? A Republican should support the right of businesses to make the decision, and the state should have nothing to say about it. Suppose I’m working as a cashier at Target and I’m morally opposed to selling Maxim magazine, or condoms, or alcohol. Do I get a conscience clause? No. Target can tell me to sell the stuff or be fired. That’s their right!
There are some pharmacies who will voluntarily allow conscience clauses. But most will want to do what’s best for their business, which is to require their pharmacists to sell all the products they offer. Otherwise, a customer will patron another pharmacy where she doesn’t have to deal with the bullshit. And that means another pharmacy will get the rest of her business too– meaning all the other items she buys when she stops in to get her birth control.
Funny how some Republicans hail the free market only when it suits them.
Are there ANY limits to this maxim, for y'all? I'd be curious to know if you think that there are, and what they are, if so.
HOWEVER, given the fact that we do have State Boards that license and set standards for pharmacists, I am in favor of these licenses not being meaningless. The purpose of the license, in part, is to advertise compliance with a standard of service set forth by the board. So long as this license is used to legitimize that pharmacy's practice, I believe we have a responsibility to ensure that the license gives accurate, fair info to the consumer. This means that the same services and products should be available regardless of the licensee if the licensee is going to have a gov't privilege of being a gatekeeper to drugs.
Personally, I'd prefer a situation where women are not subject to whims of bible thumpers, and medicines - especially contraception - are available without gatekeepers, over the counter.