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Target pharmacist fired for refusing to dispense morning-after pill

“I believe life begins with two cells and I don’t want to be part of the end of that life”
— former St. Louis-area Target pharmacist Heather Williams, on why she wouldn’t fill prescriptions for Plan B

Finally, the red bullseye store makes the right call. If the woman cannot do her job properly and lawfully, she needs find another profession. Williams opposes use of Plan B, or any other emergency contraception, because they can prevent a fertilized human egg from implanting in the uterus.

She got in hot water because she not only declined to fill prescriptions for Plan B, she said that she would have refused to refer the patient to another pharmacist. (St. Louis Today):

Paula Gianino, chief executive of Planned Parenthood for the St. Louis Region, lauds Target’s commitment to fill such prescriptions, and contends that Williams is at fault because of her refusal to refer patients or physicians elsewhere.

“She could refuse to fill the prescription, but she took it to the next level,” Gianino said. “Target has done everything possible to try to fill patients’ health-care needs and accomodate individual pharmacists.”

Said Williams: “I’m not in judgment of anyone. I want my right not to fill something, much as they have their right to get Plan B filled.”

…The matter became an issue among Target pharmacists locally, she said, after last fall’s publicity over an incident at a Target in Fenton, where a pharmacist refused to fill a Plan B prescription. Soon after, Target required its pharmacists to sign a “conscience policy” — in which they agreed to fill or refer such prescriptions.

Williams balked. In her refusal letter to Target, dated Dec. 1, Williams explained that because of the referral requirement, “I would be required to do almost everything except count the pills.”

On Dec. 21, she said that Target’s district pharmacy officials reluctantly told her that her refusal to sign was forcing them to let her go.

Williams has filed a complaint with the EEOC.

* Woman refused emergency contraception at Target

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding