What to Watch at Texas Legislature: Pharmacist ‘Religious Refusal'

Pharmacist 'religious refusal' is one of the issues to watch with the end of the legislative session now just 15 days away

A little-noticed, tea party-backed amendment to a bill regulating pharmacies allows pharmacists to refuse service to gay, non-Christian or other kinds of customers, citing "sincerely held religious beliefs."

What the House passed has yet to clear the Senate, which could remove that language. In the meantime, though, it's drawing criticism.

Katy Caldwell, CEO of Legacy Community Health, a non-profit health center providing care at 22 Southeast Texas clinics, said in a statement, "I'm not sure how we can make sick people healthy if they can get turned away at the pharmacy counter."

The Texas Medical Association says it "respects the rights of the pharmacists, but at the same time we must ensure that patients' rights to access medications legally prescribed by their physicians are upheld."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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