KUNM

Abortion Bill Also Allows Pharmacists To Refuse To Dispense Meds

Mar 5, 2015

UPDATE Thursday 3/5 at 6 p.m.: KUNM Host Chris Boros and I just discussed the two abortion bills making their way to the House floor soon, including HB 391, which requires doctors to alert parents at least 48 hours before a minor gets an abortion, and HB 390, the late-term abortion ban.   

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The state House of Representatives will likely vote on a bill Friday that would ban abortions starting at 20 weeks. But the measure would also allow pharmacists to choose not to distribute some medicaitons

Credit www.enfield.gov.uk via CC

Rep. Yvette Herrell says the main objective of her legislation is to ban late-term abortions in New Mexico. Language further down in the bill also expands a pharmacist's right to refuse.

"So if you’re a pharmacist at Walgreens, and you don’t want to be the one dispensing the morning-after pill, then you wouldn’t have to do that if you have a moral or personal reason why you cannot," she said. "But you would not be in jeopardy of losing your job."

The same would be true for pregnancy-ending medications, like RU-486, the abortion pill that’s available by prescription to women in the first nine weeks of pregnancy.

Reproductive rights advocates argue the measure could prevent women from getting legal, time-sensitive medication when they need it—like morning-after pill contraception, which works best within 72 hours—especially in rural areas with few pharmacies.

Correction: The morning-after pill is contraception, according to the National Institutes of Health, the Mayo Clinic and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The error—an unintended insinuation—was made in reporting.