Justice Samuel Alito spent 15 pages to dissent against a US Supreme Court decision NOT to hear a case over birth control and pharmacies. In his waste of ‘ink’, he claims that only religious people are ‘moral’ and ‘ethical’.
The US Supreme Court decided NOT to hear a case from Washington state where a pharmacist wanted a religious exemption to a state law that required all pharmacists to dispense all lawfully prescribed medications or if they have moral or ethical objections they have to refer the patient to another pharmacist in the same store. The medications that prompted the lawsuit was birth control. The decision not to hear the case let stand a lower court ruling against the people who wanted the religious exemption.
Justice Samuel Alito spent 15 PAGES to dissent against the decision not to hear the case.
As Ian Millhiser at Thinkprogress noted, Alito takes a swipe at the non-religious:
Did you catch what Alito did there? First, he complains that the state “specifically targeted religious objections.” Then he supports this claim by noting the Board’s warning that “the rule does not allow a pharmacy to refer a patient to another pharmacy to avoid filling the prescription due to moral or ethical objections.” But “moral and ethical” objections are an entirely different concept than “religious” objections. The implication of Alito’s opinion is that the only basis for a moral or ethical viewpoint is religious faith. But that is an offensive suggestion that redefines the words “moral” and “ethical” in an idiosyncratic way.
Beyond this attempt to conflate religion with morality, Alito also complains that the state rule contains various secular exemptions without also including a special exemption for religious objectors. The rule, for example, permits pharmacists to turn away prescriptions “containing an obvious or known error,” or refuse to fill “potentially fraudulent prescriptions.” A pharmacy may also require customers to pay for their prescriptions before they are delivered, and they may turn away a customer if they don’t accept that customer’s insurance.
This is what we can expect from a conservative Catholic judge. Birth control is only a moral concern to those who use them. He also seems not to know there are other uses of birth control besides preventing pregnancy.
Alito equating religious objections with rules against filling wrong or fraudulent prescriptions is an absurd slippery slope if there ever was one.
If a Pharmacist fills a prescription against their religious beliefs then that hurts only them. If they fill an incorrect or fraudulent prescription hurts the patient. There is no comparison. They aren’t the same and shouldn’t be treated the same.
A patient’s reason for using the medication is no one else’s business – period.