Virginia bill targeting pro-life pharmacies shelved

DMC Pharmacy in Chantilly (Photo Courtesy of DMC)
DMC Pharmacy in Chantilly (Photo Courtesy of DMC)

.- DMC Pharmacy, a new pro-life pharmacy in Chantilly, Virginia claims to have been the target of a bill recently introduced into the Virginia House of Delegates. The bill, which was tabled indefinitely, placed restrictions on pharmacies which refuse to prescribe contraceptives.

Virginia House Bill 2373 was proposed on Jan. 14 and tabled in the Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions on Tuesday. Bob Laird, Executive Director of DMC’s parent company Divine Mercy Care, told CNA that the effect of the bill being tabled is that “the issue cannot be brought up again this year.”

Laird added that he knew the bill was aimed at DMC because it is the only pro-life pharmacy in the state.

The bill read: “Any pharmacist who refuses to fill a prescription for contraception shall ensure that the patient seeking such contraception is treated in a nonjudgmental manner and is not subjected to indignity, humiliation, or breeches in confidentiality. The pharmacist shall not confiscate a prescription for contraception that he refuses to fill.”

The bill also required licensed pharmacies which do not prescribe contraceptives to place a “conspicuous notice” in at least 30-point boldface type in both English and Spanish reading “THIS PHARMACY WILL NOT FILL OR REFILL BIRTH CONTROL PRESCRIPTIONS.”

The bill would have imposed a similar rule for pharmacies that do not prescribe “Plan B emergency contraception.”

The legislation was sponsored by delegate David Englin from Virginia’s 45th district.

Laird testified on Monday against the bill before the House committee, arguing “this bill is to stop an imagined problem which does not exist.”

Dr. John Bruchalski, President and Chairman of Divine Mercy Care, said he was not opposed to a business displaying the sign but argued it was not the right of the Commonwealth of Virginia to require the display of the sign.

“This is the second issue in a few days which attempts to suppress the ability of Catholics and the Catholic Church to practice their moral beliefs,” he said in a press release, naming U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s defense of funding birth control in the economic stimulus package as the first issue.

DMC Pharmacy, following Divine Mercy Care’s policies, does not dispense, recommend or counsel on contraceptive products.

Dr. Bruchalski explained the policy, saying “Divine Mercy Care is values-based and consumer-driven.  Both patients and professionals do not want to abandon their conscience while they seek medical care.”

“We need to be professional, personal, and passionate about how we infuse our community with the love of Jesus Christ as we meet their healthcare needs.”


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