Pro-Life Drugstore to Open
Consumers coming to DMC Pharmacy when it opens this summer will be able to get virtually all the same prescription medicines and over-the-counter remedies they can get in any other drugstore. What they won’t be able to get, and this is what makes DMC different, is any form of birth control pill or device.
DMC is one of a growing number of pharmacies around the U.S. operated by owners with a desire to help the public, except in areas where it might conflict with their own personal religious beliefs.
“The United States was founded on the idea that people act on their conscience — that they have a sense of right and wrong and do what they think is right and moral,” said Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel at the Thomas More Society in Chicago, told the Washington Post. “Every pharmacist has the right to do the same thing,” he said.
In fact, it has been the refusal by some pharmacists to fill prescriptions for various types of birth control pills that has led a number of states to enact laws requiring stores to direct consumers to another pharmacist if one on duty has a moral objection to a certain type of medication. To date, California, Illinois, New Jersey and Washington have laws requiring pharmacists to help patients seeking birth control products even if they have a moral objection.
“This allows a pharmacist who does not wish to be involved in stopping a human life in any way to practice in a way that feels comfortable,” said Karen Brauer president of Pharmacists for Life International.
Ms. Brauer’s group lists seven pharmacists and pharmacies around the country that have pledged to follow “pro-life” guidelines. These include:
- David and Carmen Cartaya, RPhs, David’s Pharmacy,
- Andrews Eells, BSP, Greta Pharmacy, Hialeah, Florida
- David Rokosz, RPh, Richmond
Apothecary, Richmond, Indian
- Lloyd DuPlantis, PD, Lloyd’s Remedies, Gray, Louisiana
- Michael Koelzer, RPh,
Kay Pharmacy and Home Medical Equipment, Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Lane Hawley,
RPh, Superior Pharmacy, Superior, Nebraska
- Robert Semler, RPh, DMC Pharmacy,
“We try to practice pharmacy in a way that we feel is best to help our community and promote healthy lifestyles,” said Lloyd Duplantis, one of the pharmacists who has signed the pro-life pledge. “After researching the science behind steroidal contraceptives, I decided they could hurt the woman and possibly hurt her unborn child. I decided to opt out.”
Not everyone believes that pro-life pharmacists are protecting women. “Contraception is essential for women’s health. A pharmacy like this is walling off an essential part of health care. That could endanger women’s health,” Marcia Greenberger of the National Women’s Law Center, told the Post.
“We just say there are other pharmacies in the area they can go to,” Robert Semler at DMC Pharmacy. “We’re not threatening anybody. We’re just trying to serve a niche market of like-minded individuals.”
Discussion Questions: What do you think of pro-life pharmacies as niche marketing strategy? Is it a marketable point of difference? Will consumers with similar religious beliefs shop these stores if prices, for example, are higher than at pharmacies that do not draw these moral distinctions?