I’m sure I don’t have to expound at length on my views about pharmacists not dispensing pills because of their religious beliefs here. I mean, obviously, I think that if a pill is legal to be prescribed, and has been prescribed by a liscensed doctor, it should be dispensed by a liscensed pharmacist. I have also been discussing the legal ramifications of freedom of religion with my parents (who are both lawyers – corporate lawyers, but still willing to discuss First Amendment law with me as the whim strikes me) and have come to the conclusion that if your field requires you to do something your religion forbids, you shouldn’t be in that field. I understand that individual employers should make reasonable accomodations for religious practices, but presumably, those accomodations don’t apply to the entirety of a field of practice. For instance, religious Jews can’t work on Friday nights and Saturdays, and I’m assuming there are religious Jews who’ve sought employment at bars, movie theaters, etc. And individual bars, etc., may have to come to an agreement with those employees, perhaps by giving them all the Sunday or Thursday night shifts, and using them on Christmas and Easter, etc. But I also assume that the recreation field – movie theaters, bars, nightclubs, etc. – don’t have formalized procedures for dealing with religious Jewish employees. And you don’t even have to go through formalized procedures to become a movie theater employee. Pharmacists go to school for four years AFTER getting a college degree. I’m sure that at some point in school, they’re like, by the way, some people have sex before they get married but don’t want to have babies, and there are pills you may be required to dispense to that end.
But anyway. I found this article interesting. I think right now, the situation is that there is a religious right contingent within the pharmacalogical community which is intent on not giving birth control to women. (I don’t know which contingent is suddenly against mental health medications, or painkillers, but whatever.) And I think the rest of the community is kind of going along with the fight, because it might result in more power for pharmacists, and I get the sense that, very much like actual younger siblings, pharmacists are constantly trying to prove themselves against/wrest power from their big sibling (See what I did there? Gender-free!), actual doctors. But now BigSib is telling LittleSib that it has resources, that it will quash this attempt to gain power. And the non-religious contingent of the pharmacalogical community will want to move the hell away from that if this is going to be the result. So, yay! Go, doctors!