ProLife Pharmacy Opens in Virginia
Special Report - October 24, 2008
On Wednesday, October 22, Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy opened in Chantilly, VA to provide alternative sources of health care to pro-life customers. The new pharmacy represents itself as expressly “pro-life, pro-woman, and pro-family.” It does not sell birth control pills, emergency contraception, or condoms, which are typically estimated as 10 percent of all pharmacy sales. Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy is the second pro-life healthcare facility to open in the Chantilly area including the Tepeyac Family Center. Both facilities are members of the non-profit Divine Mercy Care financial organization. Founded in 2000, Divine Mercy Care “sponsors non-profit healthcare facilities that uphold the dignity and morality of the human person.” While these facilities adhere to Roman Catholic teachings on artificial contraception and abortion, they are not affiliated with the Catholic Church.
Nationwide, there are at least seven pharmacies that refuse to sell contraception on religious grounds. In at least four states, pharmacists have the explicit right to refuse to fill any prescription that would violate the conscience of the pharmacist on moral or religious grounds, while seven states require pharmacists to fill contraceptive prescriptions. Virginia allows pharmacists to refuse to fill any prescription for any reason.
North Carolina statute 14.45-1(e) includes a conscience clause to protect physicians and nurses from performing medical procedures that result in an abortion if they have moral, ethical, or religious objections. Legislation that would have extended this statute to include the protection of pharmacists from being required to prescribe or dispense drugs or devices that result in an abortion has been introduced for several years in the North Carolina General Assembly but has never been brought up for consideration.
“The continued increase in the number of abortifacient drugs on the market and their increased usage demands that the legislature act to protect the conscience of pharmacists and other health care professionals,” according to John Rustin, director of government relations for the North Carolina Family Policy Council.
Copyright © 2008. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.