Finding Space for Opposing Consciences: Rehabilitating the Moral Marketplace for the Emergency Contraception Debate
34 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2010
Date Written: 2009
This Comment considers the debate over whether pharmacists may refuse to dispense emergency contraception. One side argues that pharmacists must be allowed to refuse to dispense drugs to which they have a conscientious objection, while the other argues that pharmacists must dispense all prescribed medications. This Comment argues that statutory intervention is necessary to achieve any compromise between these two absolute stances. It examines the concept of the moral marketplace and finds that while its goals are noble - not to promote a single viewpoint over another, but to ensure a space where each may be heard - it will fail to meet those goals. The moral marketplace does not promote compromise because the market is not sensitive to either side’s goals, there are significant barriers to the adequate function of the marketplace, and the marketplace will ultimately impose greater uniformity of conscience upon both pharmacists and women seeking emergency contraception. States should enact legislative solutions that ensure that those engaged in the debate over emergency contraception - pharmacists and pharmacy customers - remain autonomous moral actors.
Keywords: Mora marketplace, emergency contraception
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