Kansas Becomes Seventh State to Pass Radical Conscience Clause
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is making good on his reputation for supporting extreme anti-choice efforts, recently signing legislation to allow pharmacists the right to refuse filling prescriptions they believe may induce abortions. The radical conscience clause measure states that health professionals cannot be forced to supply any prescription or device they, “reasonably believes may result in the termination of a pregnancy.” The Governor’s office exalted the opaque measure as a measure of protection for, “Kansas health care providers who refuse to participate in abortions.” Additional provisions grant physicians the right to refuse patient referrals to pharmacists willing to fill the prescription, and protect pharmacists who invoke the conscience clause from termination.
Choice advocates are gravely concerned by the bill for a myriad of reasons including issues of discrimination, privacy and the future legality of contraceptives in the state. The measure assigns physicians and pharmacists the legal ability to conduct themselves according to personal opinion above medical necessity.
Lawsuits challenging the bill are likely to arise, but have yet to be publicized by the bill’s opponents. Regardless of the bill’s future legality, presently, it is certain to negatively impact women in rural areas with limited access to health providers.