Fuck Your Conscience; Do Your Job

Let us say, and why not, that you are a firefighter, the captain of the department in Sisterfuck, Arkansas, a little bit outside Little Rock, and, in your off-duty life, you're a good, loyal member of the Church of the Bloodiest Christ You've Ever Seen. At your church, Pastor Jamie Lee Closetqueer preaches about how abortion is just President Obama trying to murder Christians to make room for more Muslims. You never saw a Muslim abortion clinic, did you?

Now let us say, and, indeed, why not, that one night the Planned Parenthood in Little Rock goes up in flames and it's all hands on deck, all around the county, the area, even. Your squad is called into action before the whole complex, maybe the block, burns down. But you know that the Planned Parenthood does abortions. You're faced with a choice. Pastor Closetqueer's words echo in your ear: "If you support the sin, you are a sinner yourself." Do you tell your Sisterfuck squad to stand down, let it burn, let other firefighters handle it? Or do you go against your faith and do your goddamn job?

It's not a big leap from pharmacists to firefighters. Down the road a bit from Sisterfuck is Millegdeville, Georgia, where Brittany Cartrett had a miscarriage. She needed assistance passing the miscarried fetus, so her doctor prescribed her Misoprostol, a pill that would help her complete what had started naturally, if sadly. When her doctor called local Walmart to have it filled, the pharmacist on duty refused to do so because, as she later told Cartrett, "I couldn't think of a valid reason why you would need this prescription." Misoprostol can be used to induce abortion, which is why it would be effective after a miscarriage. When Cartrett explained why she needed it, the pharmacist said, "Well, I don't feel like there is a reason why you would need it, so we refused to fill it."

And it's perfectly fine because Georgia has a law that says if pharmacists think that someone's prescription violates their beliefs, they can refuse to fill it because of a conscience clause, which over 20 states have or are considering. In this case, that meant that, despite a doctor calling in the prescription, the pharmacist thought, "Abortin' babeez" and bugged out.

By the way, Brittany Cartrett is a devout Christian who once worked at the same Walmart. And her response to the ensuing controversy, which became known because of her Facebook post on it, is about as common sense as you can get: "The point is that she refused to fill it based on an assumption and that is not her job. Her job is to fill it. Not to make the decision as to why I needed it. There has to be a line drawn when it comes to stuff like this."

Cartrett also wrote, awesomely, "I don't care about an apology. I care about women going through one of the worst possible things that they could go through and to be judged and refused. And what if I was going to get it for an abortion? I don't personally believe in abortion, but I would never judge or disrespect someone who felt like that was the only choice they had. As a friend, I would try to advise alternative options. As a pharmacist? It's not my place."

When you're right, you're right. Conscience clauses when it comes to things like this are just impositions of one's religion on others. Do your fucking job. If you can't do your fucking job properly, find another fucking job. If your bullshit beliefs are going to prevent you from fulfilling basic duties, then get the fuck out of the public sector. Go work for a church. Just stay away from people who might need you to shut the fuck up and do the job. Conservatives like to talk about "special rights" for different groups. An exclusion from the duties of your profession is pretty much the picture book definition of "special rights."

It ain't just religion. In Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a school nurse refused to assist a middle school student and threw the girl out of her office. The girl's crime? She didn't stand during the Pledge of Allegiance, the loyalty oath students around the country are asked to recite every morning at their indoctrination center schools. Except, interestingly enough, the Pledge is voluntary, and the nurse is being investigated for abiding by her patriotic conscience. So there is a line.

When it comes to religion, though, that line is being erased. We are not far from just letting shit burn.