Denied access to the morning-after pill by an anti-choice pharmacist

Hey Strangekittens. This just recently happened in my city. I’m honestly not shocked, just appalled.

Denied access to the morning-after pill by an anti-choice pharmacist | Vancouver, Canada |

Whether the pharmacist is anti-choice or not, she has chosen a job where practice is governed by LAW, not by her personal beliefs. This was a disgusting abuse of power on her part. Sadly, this happens every day.

In Canada, the Plan B pill is available over the counter, no prescription/consultation needed. It ranges from $25-50. Pharmacists are not allowed to you that you can’t buy it, because you can. Their beliefs have nothing to do with it; it’s the law. It’s like trying to get out of a speeding ticket because you think the speed limit is bullshit.

What would you do in this situation? Personally, I would raise the biggest media shitstorm ever. Not to teach them a lesson, because it probably wouldnt.

I would do it to raise attention and awareness of this for other women. Women that may be denied life saving contraception because they don’t know that they are lawfully entitled to it, and that the pharmacist is wrong.

I’ve always believed you should not believe everything you see, read and hear. Use your brain and criticize the source of information.  The fact that someone is in a position of authority does not make them automatically right.

What would you do in this situation? Comment below.

Edit for clarification: The pharmacist does have the right to refuse on moral grounds. But, the problem here is that the pharmacist did not say as such, and acted unprofessionally by not following the proper guidelines for it. She could have referred her to another staff member on moral grounds, but instead mislead the client.



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  • Danielle,

    Thank you very much for posting this. I’m a little surprised at how much traction this story has gotten, but I’m unbelievably pleased with the number of people who’ve told me that they kept their own stories quiet for fear of judgment and that this was very cathartic for them.

    On the other hand, I’m less pleased by the number of people standing up for the pharmacist. You’re absolutely correct — it is 100% over-the-counter and 100% legal. However, while conscience rights aren’t government-endorsed in Canada the way they are in the United States, a pharmacist does still have the right to deny treatment based on either her own morals or her professional opinion.

    The problem is that I have no allergies, take no medications and the “incident” had happened the night before. So I literally could not be a better candidate for this pill. My assumption, therefore, is that she approached this from a moral angle, but then refused to follow any of the guidelines necessary for such a refusal.

    Instead, she pretended that this was a prescription issue.

    The real problem with conscience rights is that they set out rules that someone whose religion teaches them they should object to the dispensation of these drugs has no incentive to follow. If you want to keep someone from taking a drug you believe is anti-life, why would you say, “But Betty here will help you”?

    And yet the Wildrose party in Alberta is seeking to do just that.

    It’s a very frightening time in North America right now for women’s rights, and I’m not feeling very optimistic about the future.

    • nionvox

      Thank-you for commenting Sarah.
      It’s true, she does have the right to refuse it, but I was more angry about her misleading you about it. So many girls may have to do life altering things because they don’t know what they’re entitled to.
      I’m so sorry this had to happen to you for this issue to come out in the public light.

    • nionvox

      Edited to clarify the moral grounds issue.