September 26, 2022

Catholic Medical Association Opposes H.R. 8373 “The Right to Contraception Act”

Philadelphia, PA-September 26, 2022-  Catholic Medical Association opposes H.R. 8373, “The Right to Contraception Act” and similar bills which include provisions relating to contraception and “emergency” contraception. 

When considered in light of recent HHS and Office of Civil Rights Guidance, CMA is concerned that the creation of a “right to contraception” in Federal law could be used to coerce doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and other healthcare practitioners to provide services which violate their consciences.

Additionally, CMA recognizes the act may disproportionally affect pharmacists who dispense medications. Pharmacists are currently a target of groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Women’s Law Center, who urge patients to report pharmacists to their state board of pharmacy if they refuse to fill and/or transfer a prescription for a multitude of reasons. 

This legislation fails to recognize situations in which a pharmacist may, for reasons of conscience or otherwise, rightly judge that such methods, supplies, or information relating to contraception are unethical or harmful to their patient populations. Moreover, it omits the right of pharmacists to refuse participation in referrals for interventions that they deem inappropriate.

The right of access to contraception and abortion is not an intrinsic right of the human person. Rather, the rights of individuals to act in accordance with the truth and healthcare professionals to “do no harm” must be recognized in the area of reproductive health.

Pharmacists and other providers are becoming increasingly pressured by laws and professional societies to compromise their conscience and beliefs. These pressures force pharmacists and other healthcare providers to leave their careers or opt out of pursuing the field of pharmacy, lessening both diversity in the healthcare workforce and provider access for patients seeking care which aligns with their beliefs.

CMA is dedicated to protecting all healthcare professionals involved in the medication use process. CMA calls on the United States Congress as well as every state legislature to enact strong conscience rights and religious freedom protections for their state’s pharmacists and healthcare providers. The CMA and its many like-minded partner organizations are committed to this fight for conscience rights and religious freedom.

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