Jonathan Rick: Abortion
To the Editor: The New York Times editorial board says it’s “intolerable” that anti-abortion pharmacists refuse to dispense birth control pills. I am as staunch a supporter of abortion rights as they come, but for the same reason I equally champion property rights: both represent the inalienable right of human autonomy. Just as no one should tell a woman how to dispose of her body, so no one should tell a businessman how to conduct his practice.
If one of his employees disagrees, that is between employee and employer, and if necessary, a court, to determine if a contract was breached. If outsiders disagree, we can disseminate local lists of where not to shop, and are perfectly free to shop elsewhere ourselves. The answer is not legislation, forcing our morals on others, but patronage, noncoercively using our principles to induce change.
Postscript (4/29/05): See this debate between David Boaz, Executive Vice President of the Cato Institute, and Judy Waxman, Vice President and Director of Health and Reproductive Rights at the National Women's Law Center.
Lorraine Paul - 10/21/2005
'...no one should tell a businessman how to conduct his practice.'
It seems to boil down to the fact that - is the chemist a pharmacist or a businessman. I am not aware whether there is a Code of Conduct for pharmacists, but one would assume that this would be so.
It would seem to me that justifying the actions of these pharmicists by arguing for non-interference in business practices is not a 'healthy' way to debate this issue.