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The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 12, Issue 4, Winter 2012

Robert L. Kinney III, PharmD
Pages 675-696

Contraception and Conscientious Objection
A Pharmacist’s Reflection

The 2012 contraception mandate issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services has intensified the debate over a health care practitioner’s right to conscientiously object to providing contraception. This paper approaches the debate over conscientious objection to contraception from a pharmacist’s standpoint. It shows that contraception is the cause of or a contributing factor to observed psychosocial suffering and is not “preventive health care” as labeled. It argues not only that a pharmacist should have the right to conscientiously object to dispensing contraception but also that, given the mission of the pharmacist as a health care practitioner, a pharmacist is obligated to refuse to dispense contraception. The paper argues that the obligation to refuse to dispense contraception applies to all who are involved in the provision of health care. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 12.4 (Winter 2012): 675–696.