SB 201 passed out of committee and is headed to the floor of the Senate. It expands the current law that says that a physician or employee of a hospital or other facility where abortions can be performed can’t be required to perform or assist with the performance of an abortion. The new legislation would say, among other things, that pharmacists and nurses can’t be required to administer or dispense an “abortion inducing drug” if they claim to have an ethical objection.
I don’t think this means that pharmacists and nurses can avoid being involved with, say, Plan B. “Abortion inducing drug” is defined by IC 16-18-2-1.6 as meaning “a medicine, drug, or substance prescribed or dispensed with the intent of terminating a clinically diagnosable pregnancy with the knowledge that the termination will, with reasonable likelihood, cause the death of the fetus. The term includes the off-label use of a drug known to have abortion inducing properties if the drug is prescribed with the intent of causing an abortion.” When Justice Kavanaugh and others call Plan B and other contraception “abortion inducing drugs,” I think they’re referring to the fact that the medication makes the lining of the uterus inhospitable for an inseminated egg. Even using that definition of “pregnancy,” however, I don’t think that it’s “clinically diagnosable.” Still and all, it’s probably going to be a headache for the pharmacy who wants to get rid of a grandstanding employee making it difficult for a customer to get Plan B or other contraception.
Beyond that, of course, there is the impact on women who want control over their own bodies. And there’s the question of why abortion should be entitled to special pleading when it comes to employee’s ethical concerns over their employer’s operations. What if a health care provider finds drug use immoral and objects to treating addicts? What if a gun store employee object to selling firearms to guys who abuse their wives? What if a bank employee objects to their employer’s lending practices? Usually we tell employees to go work somewhere else, but this legislation seeks to carve out a special exception for a medical service that, for the time being anyway, remains a Constitutional right.