Editorial Criticizes Mo. Bill That Could Hinder Emergency Contraception Access

April 18, 2013 — Although a federal judge recently "overturned an Obama administration rule preventing girls younger than 17 from buying emergency contraceptive pills over the counter, ... in Missouri, a bill [SB 126] already had passed the state Senate to prevent pharmacists from having to stock such medication," a St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial states.

"The 'freedom of conscience act' for pharmacists is designed to protect them from having to sell things to which they are morally opposed," including EC and other contraceptives, the editorial continues. If the bill becomes law, "depending on where you live and who owns the drugstores in your vicinity, your family planning options could be limited by your pharmacist," according to the editorial.

The editorial also notes that scientific studies have refuted wording on the labeling of EC drugs that implies they might work by blocking the implantation of a fertilized egg. However, "[n]o matter how much scientific information that says [EC] is not abortion is pumped into the debate, those who do not want women to control their own bodies won't let it go," the editorial states.

It concludes that while "people of good faith can disagree on when human life begins, ... the absolute fact is that when contraception devices and medications are offered inexpensively and used widely, fewer abortions occur" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4/12).