CHANTILLY, Va. (AP) — A new drug store at a Virginia strip mall is putting its faith in an unconventional business plan: No candy. No sodas. And no birth control. Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy is among at least seven pharmacies across the nation that are refusing as a matter of faith to sell contraceptives of any kind, even if a person has a prescription.
States across the country have been wrestling with the issue of pharmacists who refuse on religious grounds to dispense birth control or morning-after pills, and some have enacted laws requiring drug stores to fill the prescriptions.
In Virginia, though, pharmacists can turn away any prescription for any reason.
"I am grateful to be able to practice," pharmacy manager Robert Semler said, "where my conscience will never be violated and my faith does not have to be checked at the door each morning."
On Tuesday, the pharmacy celebrated a blessing from Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde. While Divine Mercy Care is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, it is guided by church teachings on sexuality, which forbid any form of artificial contraception, including morning-after pills, condoms and birth control pills, a common prescription used by millions of women in the U.S.
"This pharmacy is a vibrant example of our Holy Father’s charge to all of us to wear our faith in the public square," said Loverde, who sprinkled holy water on the shelves stocked with painkillers and acne treatments. "It will allow families to shop in an environment where their faith is not compromised."
…The Virginia store’s policy has drawn scorn from some abortion rights groups, who have already called for a boycott and collected more than 1,000 signatures protesting the pharmacy.
Once more so much for choice. You will dispense birth control even if it is against your conscience. We demand it! How dare you follow your conscience!
"If this emboldens other pharmacies in other parts of the state, it could really affect low-income and rural women in terms of access," said Tarina Keene, executive director of the Virginia chapter of the National Abortion Rights Action League.
How scandalous that other pharmacists might be "emboldened" to follow their conscience. This must be stopped!
Whether Catholics will be drawn to the pharmacy is uncertain. According to a Gallup poll published last year for an extensive study of U.S. Catholicism called American Catholics Today, 75 percent of U.S. Catholics said you can still be a good Catholic even if you don’t obey church teachings on birth control.
That is mandated boilerplate. Any story about Catholics and contraception has to include some poll about Catholics and birth control. Funny how when an article is about Catholics and abortion they don’t mention that the same poll said the "Church’s teaching on abortion is ‘very important,’"
Catherine Muskett said she plans to shop at the drug store even though she lives more than 20 miles away.
"Obviously it’s good to support pro-life causes. Every little bit counts," said Muskett, one of about 75 people who crowded into the tiny shop for Tuesday’s ceremony.
Amen to that, I would go out of my way to support a drug store that did this.