Anti-Abortion Activists Carry Tradition Conflict to Your Drugstore

Anti-Abortion Activists Carry Tradition Conflict to Your Drugstore
Anti-Abortion Activists Carry Tradition Conflict to Your Drugstore

Misoprostol, one of many two medication that collectively can safely terminate early pregnancies.
Picture: George Frey/REUTERS

The anti-abortion motion is already working to dampen any enthusiasm over the FDA approving the distribution of an abortion tablet, mifepristone, by pharmacies with a prescription (beforehand, it may very well be distributed solely by specifically licensed mail-order pharmacies, medical doctors, and clinics). The approval applies solely to states the place abortion tablets haven’t already been banned after Dobbs v. Jackson Girls’s Well being Group revoked the federal constitutional proper to decide on. And now the forced-birth crowd is pledging to place strain on pharmacies that distribute these medication in states the place it’s authorized in hopes of proscribing entry. As Politico explains, anti-abortion activists are specializing in giant pharmacy chains that ought to shortly get licensed to distribute the medication:

Anti-abortion advocates are organizing pickets exterior CVS and Walgreens in early February in at the very least eight cities, together with Washington, D.C., in response to the businesses’ plans to make the most of the Meals and Drug Administration’s choice final week permitting retail pharmacies to inventory and dispense abortion tablets in states the place they’re authorized.

The demonstrations purpose to convey the identical chants, indicators and tense confrontations to drug retailer parking heaps that teams have lengthy used to attempt to deter visits to abortion clinics. The protests will coincide with a call-in marketing campaign and deliberate nationwide boycott of the chains.

Whereas the effectiveness of hassling and inconveniencing pharmacy patrons who aren’t there to get abortion medication in any respect could also be questionable, it’s doubtless a secondary purpose is to offer cowl for pharmacists and their assistants who refuse to have something to do with the distribution of the tablets. This can construct on long-standing efforts to acquire protections for “pharmacists of conscience” who refuse to distribute emergency contraceptives, and even medicines associated to the insertion of IUDs, on the doubtful grounds that these birth-control strategies are literally “abortifacients.” And pharmacy staff in search of a self-designated proper to select and select clients and merchandise will hyperlink arms with “Christian bakers” and others who can’t tolerate letting different folks obey their very own consciences.

Huge drugstore chains apart, smaller mom-and-pop impartial pharmacies could already be deterred from distributing abortion tablets by the burdensome certification course of. Now they’ll even have to contemplate the specter of protesters exterior and “pharmacists of conscience” inside. And underlying all these concerns for pharmacies would be the persevering with battles within the courts over state constitutional provisions defending the fitting to decide on, insurance policies set by state legislatures, and upcoming poll initiatives (gained by the abortion-rights trigger in each 2022 take a look at). And whereas Democratic management of the White Home and the Senate means there’s no purpose to concern federal abortion bans instantly, the Home shall be churning out anti-abortion laws (it’s already handed one invoice defending pro-life protesters and one other requiring medical remedy for uncommon survivors of botched late-term abortions) in an indication of what may occur after 2024 if Republicans win a trifecta that 12 months.

So the parking heaps at CVS and Walgreen’s will merely be part of different contested floor the U.S. Supreme Court docket created with Dobbs.

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