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Breaking... US Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade



  • Registered Users Posts: 72,122 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal

    A major US pharmacy chain has seen a huge spike in cashiers and pharmacists who now declare faith based objections to filling everything from condoms to birth control

    one woman ordered a pregnancy test and instead during a national shortage of such, received a “care package” in the mail containing a pacifier and multiple bottles of baby formula. The woman had no Fallopian tubes but was told by her doctor to test anyway. Another woman was first lied to that she had run out of her prescription refills, only to be sent back to her doctor by the store, to confirm she had the refills and when she sent the script in again they changed their story to out of stock

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,175 ✭✭✭✭ Igotadose

    Yep, the cultural implications of Dobbs; morons in the US think that's license to force their beliefs on everyone. Sadly Walgreens is a seriously huge player in the US, owns a number of big chains. And now, there'd need to be a suit where, each state that this is happening?

    This isn't new - it's just worse now. Pharmacists who position themselves as moral authorities should find other work. Though I expect the woman described as 'wearing two crosses' and not dispensing birth control pills, likely couldn't become a religious leader. Men only, eh?

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,083 ✭✭✭✭ One eyed Jack

    There’s no irony in what I said; there is an irony however in your trying to get me to say to something I don’t believe is true, as if that’d be me being honest.

    That’s what I mean by an attempt to absolve themselves of any responsibility by claiming it is individuals are responsible for their actions, as though individuals actions aren’t governed by laws made by politicians. It’s nonsense because Pelosi knows what she’s saying simply isn’t true, but she has to say it because she needs to appeal to as wide a voter base as possible, as opposed to just appealing to women voters. That’s why she comes out with this sort of rhetoric for example -

    In the MSNBC interview, Pelosi challenged the notion of imposing her personal views on abortion on others and highlighted Cordileone’s pronouncements on other issues, such as gay rights.

    “We just have to be prayerful, we have to be respectful. I come from a largely pro-life Italian American Catholic family, so I respect people’s views about that, but I don’t respect us foisting it onto others,” she said. “Now our archbishop has been vehemently against LGBTQ rights. He led the way in some of the issues, an initiative on the ballot in California. So this decision … is very dangerous in the lives of so many of the American people. They’re not consistent with the Gospel of Matthew.”

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Republicans of attempting to roll back the clock for American women by curtailing access to birth control, but declared "we are not going back."

    "This is their moment. Clarence Thomas has made that clear, right down to the fundamentals of privacy they want to erase," Pelosi said of Republicans. "With this passage, Democrats will make clear we will never quit in the fight against the outrageous right-wing assault on freedom."

    What’s interesting is the way Ms. Pelosi refers to “the outrageous right-wing assault on freedom”, while supporting a bill which is intended to override religious freedom, something which her right-wing counterparts value far more than the Democrats ideas of individual rights. It appears that Democrats are more determined than ever to try and make out that women don’t have minds of their own, that they need to portray women as victims of an oppressive ideology, when that simply isn’t an accurate reflection of reality. It’s not gender that divides anyone, it’s their individual and collective beliefs based around their own particular circumstances -

    Nancy, above most people in the US, should know, and it’s precisely for this reason that she chooses to absolve herself of any responsibility for her actions by suggesting that a woman’s decisions are a private matter between her and “her God” (and it’s not just a nod to secularism in that Nancy recognises that women aren’t all of the same faith or none), it’s precisely because Nancy doesn’t even believe herself what she is saying, but she knows that it matters that other people believe in what she is saying.

    It’s not nuts, it’s just politics -

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,175 ✭✭✭✭ Igotadose

    So, is abortion safer or less safe than carrying a fetus to term? @One eyed Jack you've still not answered @Hotblack Desiato 's question, instead like a good Republican follower, you've regurgitated some GQP talking points about Pelosi. Did you see where Pope Frank gave communion to Speaker Pelosi when she visited Rome? Seems he's not happy with the Bishop of SF.

    Anyway, which is safer?

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,991 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato

    Expect reams of irrelevant nonsense as an "answer".

    Defund Alcohol Action Ireland

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  • Registered Users Posts: 72,122 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal

    What’s interesting is the way Ms. Pelosi refers to “the outrageous right-wing assault on freedom”, while supporting a bill which is intended to override religious freedom

    what bill are you referring to and how is it as unconstitutional as you say?

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,083 ✭✭✭✭ One eyed Jack

    I’ve answered Hotblack’s question numerous times already - abortion is safer than carrying a fetus to term. My original point, and it still stands, is that I don’t see what one has to do with the other. They’re two completely different and separate circumstances. There is no comparison between them as far as I’m concerned. It’s a pointless argument which doesn’t support anything. If it’s intent is to argue in favour of abortion, it’s a piss poor argument.

    I did of course see where Ms. Pelosi was able to afford to jet off to Rome, days after her whole shtick telling women abortion was a decision between themselves and their God. I don’t imagine every woman is in a position of power and influence that they have their own personal audience with the head of what you refer to as the Criminal Enterprise. The whole thing strikes me as a bit of a willy-waving contest between Ms. Pelosi and the Archbishop tbh, and he came off the worst of it even before Ms. Pelosi rubbed his nose in it by cosying up to the Pope.

    I’m referring to this bill -

    This part in particular -


    (a) IN GENERAL.—

    (1) GENERAL APPLICATION.—Except as stated under subsection (b), this Act supersedes and applies to the law of the Federal Government and each State government, and the implementation of such law, whether statutory, common law, or otherwise, and whether adopted before or after the date of enactment of this Act, and neither the Federal Government nor any State government shall administer, implement, or enforce any law, rule, regulation, standard, or other provision having the force and effect of law that conflicts with any provision of this Act, notwithstanding any other provision of Federal law, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.).

    Notwithstanding meaning ‘in spite of’, so in spite of any other provisions including anything in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, nothing shall supersede the provisions of this particular Act.

  • Registered Users Posts: 72,122 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal

    This passage doesn't have anything to do with the tenets of religious freedom, rather the Supremacy Clause in Article VII of the US Constitution:

    This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

    TLDR the General application here is, if this new statute conflicts with an older federal statute, this new statute is superior; and is superior to common law and state law, and can only be overturned by much the same proviso in Federal Law that allows Congress to pass this law which may have force and effect that conflicts with older laws.

    I don't know how protecting access to contraceptives is an assault on Religious Freedom or the First Amendment. Contraception happens to be part of my own personal religion.

  • Registered Users Posts: 72,122 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal

    @One eyed Jack

    I did of course see where Ms. Pelosi was able to afford to jet off to Rome,

    All members of Congress can 'afford' to go on official visits. They're a whole Branch of the United States government. Minority members, too, are not beholden to the President or anything, they can go wherever they please. Their travel is regulated by House/Senate rules.

    For example, Pelosi is also on planning to visit Taiwan, a decision the WH is all but policy bound to oppose because it will undermine diplomacy with China and may jeopardize security in the Taiwan Strait. However, all Biden can do is wag his finger at it, the Executive Branch has no leash on Congress to go where they want, even (and especially rather) when it is not what the POTUS wants.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,083 ✭✭✭✭ One eyed Jack

    It wouldn’t have anything to do with the freedom to practice religion if it didn’t explicitly mention the RFRA, let alone imply that it overrides any provisions of the RFRA.

    Of course it’s not likely to cause you to do a double-take if contraception is permitted by your personal religion, but for religious organisations and States where there are limitations or prohibitions on contraception, it stands to reason they’re likely to be concerned that the bill is more than just a shot across the bow of the bench of the Supreme Court -

    Justice Thomas, writing for the majority and joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Gorsuch, Alito, and Kavanaugh, held that the Trump rules complied with the ACA. He said the rules allow HRSA to decide which women’s preventive services are included in the requirement and to whom the requirement applies. He further held that it was appropriate, indeed necessary, for the administration to consider RFRA in creating exceptions, though he did not decide that the Trump rules were required by RFRA. Finally, the majority concluded that no procedural errors were committed in the issuance of the rule.

    Justices Alito and Gorsuch agreed with the majority but would have gone further to hold that RFRA compelled the creation of an exception for religious organizations. Justices Kagan and Breyer went along with the court’s decision, concluding that the administration could let HRSA determine to whom the contraceptive mandate applied. However, these justices suggested that further proceedings in the lower court should address whether the rule was arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act.

    Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor dissented, arguing that the ACA only allows HRSA to determine what women’s health services must be covered and not to create exceptions to the coverage obligation. They also contended that RFRA does not authorize the creation of absolute religious exceptions that disregard the interests of the intended beneficiaries of a law. And, in any event, they concluded, the original Obama rule accommodation adequately protected the religious organizations.

    It would also impact individual States regulations regarding contraception -

    • 12 states allow some health care providers to refuse to provide services related to contraception.
      • 9 states allow individual health care providers to refuse to provide services related to contraception.
      • 6 states explicitly permit pharmacists to refuse to dispense contraceptives. (6 additional states have broad refusal clauses that do not specifically include pharmacists, but may apply to them.)
      • 8 states allow health care institutions to refuse to provide services related to contraception; 5 states limit the exemption to private entities.

    The ‘Obama rule accommodation’ which Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor refer to was always a precarious political compromise, which this Act intended to render obsolete -

    It would have paved the way again for this sort of behaviour, except this time in relation to contraception rather than abortion -

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  • Registered Users Posts: 22,083 ✭✭✭✭ One eyed Jack

    All members of Congress can 'afford' to go on official visits.

    I don’t think anyone was disputing that though? The point I was making was in response to being asked whether I saw that Pope Frank gave communion to Speaker Pelosi when she visited Rome? He didn’t, but I wasn’t gonna quibble -

    While Francis presided over the Mass, he did not distribute Communion himself and Pelosi received the sacrament from one of the many priests who distributed it. From the time he was archbishop in Buenos Aires, Francis has rarely distributed Communion, precisely to prevent the sacrament from becoming politicized.

  • Registered Users Posts: 72,122 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal

    That doesn't sound like it impacts anyone's personal religion at all.

    You have a right to practice your religion. Not a right to impose it on me.

    Under Obama the federal govt had every right not to fund a religiously discriminatory program.

    Repealing, altering, watering down, modifying etc. the 1993 Act with a 2022 is not Unconstitutional. The same constitutional authority that gave them the right to pass the RFRA gives them the right to repeal all or part of it.

    The First Amendment - the freedom of speech - doesn't have much ado with the physical distribution of prescribed or over-the-counter medicine.

    It's not like the RFRA was ever a great piece of legislation mind you:

    RFRA, as applied to the states, was held unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in the City of Boerne v. Flores decision in 1997, which ruled that the RFRA is not a proper exercise of Congress's enforcement power. However, it continues to be applied to the federal government—for instance, in Gonzales v. O Centro Espírita Beneficente União do Vegetal (2006) and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (2014). These cases did not consider whether Congress was violating the Establishment Clause if it carves out exemptions based on religious laws from federal laws and regulations that it itself has authorized. In response to City of Boerne v. Flores and other related RFR issues, twenty-one individual states have passed State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts that apply to state governments and local municipalities.[4]

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,083 ✭✭✭✭ One eyed Jack

    Of course it has an impact on people’s religious freedom if it mandates that for example, I, if I were a pharmacist, have to provide you with contraception, in spite of the fact that I have a moral objection to the provision of contraception, so I don’t provide it to anyone, and I’m excluded from receiving federal funds because I don’t provide it. It’s not that I’m imposing my religious beliefs on you, or discriminating against you personally - I just don’t stock contraceptives, and I don’t sell them to anyone. It’s nothing to do with your personal religious convictions.

    (I’m tempted to make a joke about a bun in the oven, as that reasoning smells awfully like the bakery cases, but I’ll resist, that’d be inappropriate 🤨)

    The federal government doesn’t have the right though to discriminate against any organisation from receiving federal funding because it’s religious, and they’re limited in just how far they can impose restrictions and conditions on federal funding.

    Also it’s not so much the freedom of speech part of the First Amendment is relevant here, but the extent and limitations of the Free Exercise Clause -

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,647 ✭✭✭ Christy42

    Contraceptives are part of sexual health, preventing stds etc. A pharmacist should provide health care. It is like a Muslim becoming a priest and complaining they have to preach the Bible. What next, the vegan butcher not willing to sell meat? A pharmacy has been a place for condoms etc for decades, don't get a job and refuse

    Reminds me more of the lady who refused to provide marriage certificates to same sex marriages.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,083 ✭✭✭✭ One eyed Jack

    That’s fine and dandy for anyone who already agrees with you, but it’s not any kind of a compelling argument for anyone who doesn’t, and there are many pharmacists in the United States who don’t, who cannot be compelled to provide contraceptives, and are within their rights to disagree with the idea that contraceptives are part of sexual health or that they should provide healthcare according to your ideas of what constitutes healthcare.

    It’s not really anything like a Muslim becoming a priest and then complaining they have to preach the Bible, and simply stating that a pharmacy has been a place for condoms etc for decades and that people shouldn’t get a job and refuse, is about as useful as someone declaring that abstinence is part of healthcare and don’t have sex. Such silliness ignores the fact that pharmacists don’t only exist to provide contraceptives, they provide all sorts of health related services besides, in accordance with whatever laws are applicable.

    In circumstances where there is a conflict of rights such as the example of pharmacists refusing to provide contraceptives due to their religious convictions, and the States laws mandating that pharmacists are limited in their refusal to provide emergency contraceptives, it isn’t nearly as simple as an employee of the State refusing to issue marriage certificates based upon their religious convictions.

    Depending upon who’s sitting on the bench of the US Supreme Court, it’s their interpretations will determine whether or not either the States or a Federal mandate is hostile to religious freedom. It’s not as though the issue hasn’t been brewing a while now -

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,782 ✭✭✭✭ Loafing Oaf

    A pharmacy has been a place for condoms etc for decades

    First thing Fawlty associated with them anyway...

  • Registered Users Posts: 72,122 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal

    Except these pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS, DO STOCK the drug.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,647 ✭✭✭ Christy42

    Agreed that the supreme court will have the final say and that they may have the opposite opinion to me. Doesn't mean it is the correct call. When I say those links to the marriage certs I don't mean to link them legally, just morally.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,083 ✭✭✭✭ One eyed Jack

    And they also have policies which permit employees to refuse to fulfil prescriptions on moral or religious grounds -

    "Our policies are designed to ensure we meet the needs of our patients and customers while respecting the religious and moral beliefs of our team members," Walgreens spokesperson to NBC News. "The instances are rare, however when a team member has a moral or religious conviction about completing a transaction, they are required to refer the customer to another employee or manager on duty who will complete the transaction, which is what occurred in this instance."

    Now I could nonchalantly have responded to your point that Walgreens, CVS and even Walmart all stock and sell or fulfil prescriptions for contraceptives, by asking where’s the problem then? And that’d be me being unreasonable, because I think we both understand where the problem is -

    Pharmacists being permitted to refuse to sell or supply anyone with a product or service because doing so would, in their mind, constitute a violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs. The requirement that they are required to refer the customer to another employee or a manager, seems like a reasonable compromise IMO.

    If an employee refuses a transaction for what clearly is motivated by spite or what amounts to unlawful discrimination, then that’s another matter entirely. That’s being intentionally malicious, like the fake abortion clinics which, ironically enough, are protected under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment -

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,441 ✭✭✭ Sudden Valley

    I would not see this as a problem if there was more than one pharmacy in the local area. Unfortunately if all pharmacys in their area are owned by religious people and all ban contraceptives to protect freedom of religion for some of the population you are not protecting the rights of those not in that religion.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 22,083 ✭✭✭✭ One eyed Jack

    In the case of Stormans Inc v Weisman though, it was pointed out that there were more than 30 other pharmacies within a five mile distance -

    Alito observed that the Stormans had been willing to refer customers to other pharmacies, of which there were another 30 within a five-mile distance.  He further said that because of this facilitated referral system, “none of Ralph’s customers has ever been denied timely access to emergency contraceptives.”

    The efforts to seek out pharmacies where there are owners or employees with religious objections to providing contraceptives amounts to nothing more than Jessica Yanniv levels of malicious intent to target religious objectors specifically, precisely to force them to do something in violation of their conscience.

    If it were about protecting anyone’s right to access contraception, then there are far greater barriers to access and provision than any pharmacists or employees religious objections. One of those issues is pharmacies closing down in rural areas because they can’t afford to continue doing business, or the lack of pharmacies willing to provide products and services to people who can least afford to pay for medical treatment -

    I don’t blame women who want to avoid using a sandwich bag, but that seems to be the method promoted by Medicaid -

    Even on other drugs, women won’t use them -

    Those women experiencing grinding poverty are only useful in terms of arguing for greater access to contraceptives and abortion, they’re of no interest to people otherwise, which is why they have historically been ignored, and will continue to be ignored, until otherwise useful -

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,441 ✭✭✭ Sudden Valley

    Fair enough its a bit like the gay cake controversy in NI then. I do think that those citing religious freedom do take the p!ss sometimes. Like in the case of a public sector employees in america saying they should be exempt from getting the vaccine on religious grounds (when they were christians). In the case of contraceptives it is odd that christians may not be willing to sell to other Christians contraceptives based on religous grounds. I know the bible can be interpreted in different wsys but im sure i dont remember it explicitly stating thou shalt not sell contraceptives!

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,991 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato

    When they say "religious freedom" they really mean their ability to force their religious doctrines onto others. Same old same old.

    Defund Alcohol Action Ireland

  • Registered Users Posts: 72,122 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal

    If an employee refuses a transaction for what clearly is motivated by spite or what amounts to unlawful discrimination, then that’s another matter entirely.

    which is the case here. Federal laws protect the sale of contraception.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,812 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Manic Moran

    Do they for the purposes of a choice to not sell it?

    I believe they mandate the coverage of contraception, they may even prevent the States from banning contraception, but there is no law I'm aware of which mandates that any particular point of sale must offer it.

    Even the "Right to Contraception" act passed last week places no mandate on the point of sale. It codifies a right to sell contraception, not a requirement to do so.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,550 ✭✭✭ uptherebels

    It's their usual, mixing up of a right to object, with a right to obstruct.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,441 ✭✭✭ Sudden Valley

    Ah great so a local pastor could put pressure on local pharmacies to not stock contraceptives and it would be up to the pharmacy whether they wish to take the local church on. Like a weird version of the Footloose movie.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,812 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Manic Moran

    Well, yes.

    How is that different from any other point of sale, from books to cars to firearms? What is an example of "you must sell this" vs "you can choose whether or not to sell this"?

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,083 ✭✭✭✭ One eyed Jack

    I know the bible can be interpreted in different wsys but im sure i dont remember it explicitly stating thou shalt not sell contraceptives!

    Their argument wasn’t based upon whether or not the Bible made any reference to a prohibition on selling contraceptives though. Their argument was based upon the fact that in accordance with their religious beliefs, they believe that it is forbidden for them to be complicit in the taking of a life -

    The Stormans family owns Ralph’s Thriftway, a local grocery store and pharmacy in Olympia, Washington. Devout Christians, the Stormans seek to run their busi- ness in accordance with their religious beliefs. Among those beliefs is a conviction that life begins at conception and that preventing the uterine implantation of a fertilized egg is tantamount to abortion. Consequently, in order to avoid complicity in what they believe to be the taking of a life, Ralph’s pharmacy does not stock emergency contraceptives, such as Plan B, that can “inhibit implantation” of a fertilized egg,

    It’s most certainly not the case here. The case here is that the pharmacist in question has a religious objection to the provision of contraceptives based upon their religious beliefs. The case here is that the Washington State Governor threatened to replace the Washington State Pharmacy Board if they didn’t mandate that pharmacists would not be permitted to refuse and refer customers to other pharmacies which did stock and supply the medication -

    The District Court found that the regulations were adopted with “the predominant purpose” to “stamp out the right to refuse” to dispense emergency contraceptives for religious reasons. Id., at 1178. Among other things, the District Court noted the following. When the Board began to consider new regulations, the Governor of the State “sent a letter to the Board opposing referral for personal or conscientious reasons.” 854 F. Supp. 2d, at 937. The State Human Rights Commission followed with “a letter threatening Board members with personal liability if they passed a regulation permitting referral” for religious or moral reasons. Id., at 938; see App. to Pet. for Cert. 374a– 399a. And after the Board initially voted to adopt rules allowing referrals for reasons of conscience, the Governor not only sent another letter opposing the draft rules but “publicly explained that she could remove the Board members” if need be. 854 F. Supp. 2d, at 938. “[T]his was the first instance in which a Governor had ever threatened the Board . . . with removal.”

    (same source as above)

    There’s no mixing up a right to object with right to obstruct here at all. You might try and portray a right to object as a perceived right to obstruct, but you’d require evidence that there was any attempt to obstruct when there was none. Facilitated referral permits pharmacists to refer customers to other pharmacists, and there was no evidence that anyone had been deprived of timely access to their lawfully prescribed medication on the basis of the pharmacists religious objections to providing it -

    The State appealed the District Court’s decision, and the Ninth Circuit reversed. 794 F. 3d 1064 (2015). Both in the Ninth Circuit and before this Court, the State defends the regulations as necessary to “ensur[e] that its citizens have safe and timely access to their lawful and lawfully prescribed medications.” Id., at 1084. But the State has conceded that this is not really a problem. It stipulated that “facilitated referrals do not pose a threat to timely access to lawfully prescribed medications,” and indeed “help assure timely access to lawfully prescribed medications . . . includ[ing] Plan B.”

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,441 ✭✭✭ Sudden Valley

    Could pharmacies refuse to provide covid vaccines or was that a choice? I just think not selling contraceptives and at the same time trying to dissuade people from having abortions makes no sense. The lack of the former will lead to demand for the latter.