Congressman Robert Aderholt announced that he has become a co-sponsor of a bill to protect the First Amendment rights of pharmacists when choosing whether or not to fill prescriptions for elective abortions.
The Pharmacist Conscience Protection Act H.R. 8820 was introduced by Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-Georgia), Diana Hashbarger (R-Tennessee), and Blake Moore (R-Utah). Reps. Carter and Harshbarger are both pharmacists. It is co-sponsored by 26 House Republicans. The legislation comes after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance warning pharmacists that they could be in violation of federal civil rights laws if they do not fill such prescriptions.
“Pharmacists should not be forced to surrender their First Amendment rights of religious freedom because of radical policies from the Biden Administration,” said Congressman Aderholt. “It’s unfortunate that we need conscience protections like these, but it’s the only way to keep the overbearing Biden Administration from forcing private citizens to violate strongly held convictions.”
“Your first amendment rights don’t go away when you put on a white coat,” said Rep. Carter. “This legislation will ensure that pharmacists are able to make the medical decisions that are best for the health of the mother, the life of the child, and the integrity of their practice without threats from non-medically trained bureaucrats. Medical decisions should be made between doctors, pharmacists, and patients – not the federal government.”
“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,” stated Rep. Harshbarger. “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!”
“Conscience protections prevent discrimination and ensure Americans in the healthcare sector are not forced to violate their beliefs,” said Rep. Moore. “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.”
The text reads in part, “In General.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Federal Government, and any person or entity that receives Federal grants, contracts, or financial assistance, including any State or local government, may not penalize, treat adversely, retaliate against, or otherwise discriminate against a specified health care provider, or take any action that has such effect, on the basis that the specified health care provider does not or declines to store or fill a prescription, or make a referral, for a drug that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to cause an abortion or that the specified health care provider in good faith believes may be used to cause an abortion.”
Other co-sponsors are Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Tracey Mann (R-KS), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), David McKinley (R-WV), Ken Buck (R-CO), Lance Gooden (R-TX), Jake Ellzey (R-TX), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Mary Miller (R-IL), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Bill Posey (R-FL), Greg Steube (R-FL), Troy Balderson (R-OH), Brian Babin (R-TX), Dan Webster (R-FL), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Randy Weber (R-TX), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Don Bacon (R-NE), Robert E. Latta (R-OH), and Andrew Clyde (R-GA).
Aderholt is in his thirteenth term representing Alabama’s Fourth Congressional District.
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