WASHINGTON D.C. — In a press release from September 14, U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Blake Moore (Rep.) from Utah’s first district announced his introduction of the “Pharmacist Conscience Protection Act” to the House of Representatives. The bill will attempt to protect pharmacists who refuse to prescribe abortion drugs due to religious beliefs under the First Amendment from prosecution by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The bill is co-sponsored by 26 House Republicans and is led by Congressman Moore in conjunction with Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) and Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger (R-TN). It is in response to specific guidance the Department of Health and Human Services issued stating that pharmacists could be violating federal civil rights laws if they refuse to fill prescriptions.
In the release, Representative Moore said the following regarding the bill:
“Conscience protections prevent discrimination and ensure Americans in the healthcare sector are not forced to violate their beliefs. As the Biden Administration takes steps to undermine the conscience rights of pharmacists, I am proud to join Congressman Buddy Carter and Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger in introducing the Pharmacist Conscience Protection Act which would ensure pharmacists can refuse to provide abortion drugs without repercussion. Pharmacists, along with other medical and healthcare workers, should never be coerced into participating in abortions, and this bill is an important step in supporting medical professionals who have deep convictions about practicing life-affirming medicine.”
Representative Diana Harshbarger also commented on the bill, saying:
“I will not stand by and let the Biden administration use an extremist and unlawful agenda of taxpayer-funded abortions through birth to persecute pharmacists who have religious, moral, or conscience objections to the intentional killing of unborn children through abortion. As a licensed pharmacist for more than 30 years, I have always followed the precept of first doing no harm. I will always stand-up for the lives of unborn children, and will always defend health practitioners who believe the same. Pharmacists and other health professionals should never be punished for their moral beliefs in protecting life, or be threatened or forced to facilitate abortions against such beliefs. I call on the Biden administration to immediately withdraw this outrageous assault on pharmacists’ conscience rights, and to stop treating the Constitution like its own political chew-toy!”
Introduced today, the bill still has a long way to go before becoming law and will likely remain in the congressional process for several months. November’s midterm results could determine whether or not the bill makes it to the US Senate and then into law afterward.
The press release makes no mention of exceptions to the proposed law that could apply in extreme cases.
Readers can find the full bill text here.