Reposted from my comment over at NiT in response to Bob Krumm’s logic as to why pharmacists denying birth control or morning-after pills makes sense:

Case in point: until Mr. H.G. Hill, a successful Nashville grocer, died, his stores would not sell beer. That would have been enough to keep me from shopping there. However, just as it was his right to not sell alcohol, it was my right to refuse to patronize his store.

Would not Mr. Hill have argued that he was also protecting the health (moral and physical) of his customers? How many liver diseases did he prevent? Did his actions save anyone from a drunk driving death?

Not that I agree with his reasoning, but the argument works both ways.

My response:

Except it really doesn’t. Alcohol, barring the 13 years of prohibition (another example of state regulation run amok) was and is not a controlled substance. The refusal of one vendor to sell alcohol on moral grounds does not have any meaningful impact on the ability of someone to obtain it from a market saturated by other willing suppliers.

Not so for pharmacists, who act as agents of the state to dispense medication that is controlled and illegal to obtain otherwise.

In such a role, pharmacists have one job: dispensing medication regulated by the state.

Any subjective moralizing on behalf of pharmacists in deciding when and when not to dispense medication (leaving aside for the moment that pharmacists are not doctors to begin with) amounts to an abuse of monopoly state power in restricting the freedoms of an individual to treat themselves medically. Period.