Abortion rights advocates are expressing outrage about things Iowa Congressman Steve King said this week, but King isn’t backing down and plans to strike back. Brenda Kole, a spokeswoman for the National Abortion Rights Action League of Iowa, objects to the way King talked to a woman who was testifying before Congress because an Illinois pharmacist would not fill her prescription for the “morning-after” pill. “He took an opportunity to somewhat re-victimize the…young woman from Illinois who had been denied emergency contraception twice by basically lecturing her about her rights to have a prescription to emergency contraception,” Kole says. King told the woman she had no “right” to get her prescription filled. Kole says women who have a legal prescription for “emergency contraception” should be able to walk into any pharmacy and get their ‘script filled. “Congressman King is saying that he doesn’t believe that young women should be able to do that,” Kole says. Kole says when a pharmacist finds he cannot fill a prescription because of his personal values, the pharmacist should find someone else to serve the customer rather than lecture the customer about her prescription. King is unapologetic. “I needed to make the point that people (who) are in business should not be subject to the whims of a governor’s pen that compel them to sell products that they have a conscious objection to and this pharmacist clearly had a conscious objection,” King says. King says the “morning after” pill violates the religious beliefs of the pharmacist involved. Forcing pharmacists to sell a product they object to is a slippery slope, according to King. “The same logic could require a book store that sells magazines…to also sell Penthouse and Playboy and Hustler,” King says. “It could require, by the same logic, all retail outlets to sell lotto cards and other gambling devices.” King says if pharmacists are forced to sell the abortion pill, then “pro-life” doctors might eventually be forced to perform abortions. King says he will work to pass a federal law if Illinois officials don’t make it clear that the pharmacist in question had a right to refuse to fill a prescription for the “morning after” pill.
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