This is the conundrum with attempting to protect religious freedom. Pharmacists in Kansas may now refuse to fill prescriptions that they believe may lead to an abortion. “Belief” is important here. They can refuse to sell Plan B and not worry about losing their jobs even though Plan B doesn’t actually cause abortions.
The most important aspect of freedom of religion is that no one, not even the government, has the power to interfere with the religious beliefs and practices of anyone else. This is why atheists are upset. Whose beliefs are more important? Why should the beliefs of pharmacists and doctors trump the beliefs (or lack thereof) of their clients? Especially in a case like this, when the outcome probably has a much more profound impact on the life of the client?
A pharmacist should not be able to force his* religious beliefs on his clients. Think of any other profession. A waitress, for example. Let’s say an Orthodox Jewish waitress gets a job at Red Lobster then wants to refuse to serve diners who order items that aren’t kosher. Would the government ever pass a law to protect her job if she chose to do that? No, because it’s part of her job. A necessary part of her job that she knew about when she applied to work for Red Lobster.
It is just as absurd to allow pharmacists and doctors to refuse to perform necessary duties of their jobs due to religious beliefs when they knew all along that those duties would be required of them.
But there’s some good news! Plan B is apparently available for purchase online, and Amazon ships to Kansas. Better stock up. You’re welcome, much beleaguered women of Kansas:
* As always, gendered pronouns for notational convenience only.