(CNSNews.com) - A pro-abortion group says its survey of 920 pharmacies across Missouri found that only 29 percent of them stock emergency contraception, also known as the morning-after pill.
"Women in rural Missouri are most at risk of not having access to this birth control," said the NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri Foundation, which conducted the survey.
More details will be announced Tuesday at a news conference in Jefferson City, the foundation said. Those details include "statistics on pharmacies that refuse to order the legally prescribed medication for female customers," the press release announced.
Although the Food and Drug Administration has approved the prescription-only sale of emergency contraception, pharmacies are not required to stock any particular medication.
Supporters of the morning-after pill say it could significantly cut the number of unintended pregnancies, thereby reducing the need for abortion.
But pro-life advocates say that argument misses the point: They say the morning-after pill is a form of abortion, because it may prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb.
According to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a growing number pro-life pharmacists are refusing to dispense emergency contraception because doing so violates their religious beliefs. Planned Parenthood calls such refusals discriminatory.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich last month issued an emergency order requiring pharmacists to dispense medication if their pharmacy stocks it.
Based on the survey results mentioned above, it appears that a growing number of pharmacies are getting around the dilemma by refusing to stock emergency contraceptives at all. If the pharmacy doesn't stock it, the pharmacist can't dispense it.
See Earlier Stories:
Planned Parenthood: 'Morning After' Pill Would Decrease Abortions (18 Jan. 2005)
Planned Parenthood Blasts 'Dangerous Trend' of Pharmacist Refusals (1 April 2004)
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