As you may know, on August 1st, 2011, the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, and Department of Health and Human Services jointly announced new guidelines for access to preventative care. The new regulations greatly expand access to preventative care under the new health care act, particularly for women. One of the most significant changes is the provision that all FDA-approved contraceptives (including emergency contraception), as well as contraceptive counseling and education, shall be provided without a co-pay fee.
…Ironically, while these provisions are almost certain to reduce the number of abortions in the U.S., religious groups are fighting these health services and demanding broad exemptions based on religious and “conscience” grounds.
…FFRF would prefer that no religious employer exemption be provided. However, some religious groups are agitating for broader exemptions… They want to grant religious third parties the right to deny medical care and FDA-approved treatment on the basis of personal “conscience” – without regard to the conscience of the women who are actually impacted by these preventative services! Reproductive rights opponents, particularly Catholic and evangelical organizations, are lobbying to expand this narrow exception so that any organization even vaguely affiliated with religion (such as denominational hospitals open to the public) can deny basic healthcare to women in need of contraception and contraceptive counseling.
Go to regulations.gov, click on “submit a comment” and enter the code “CMS-9992-IFC2” to tell the United States government that pharmacists who refuse to fulfill prescriptions should not be pharmacists.