The North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group treated Guadalupe Benitez, of Oceanside, with fertility drugs for roughly a year. However, when they learned that she was a lesbian, they refused on religious grounds to inseminate her. Now, just on the heels of its historic same-sex marriage ruling, the California Supreme Court has taken the case.
The Court will now decided whether doctors can refused medical treatment on the basis of their religious beliefs? An appellate court ruled in the affirmative, reversing a San Diego trial court that had found in favor of Benitez.
Under California law, pharmacists may refuse to dispense “morning after” pills to women who have had unprotected sex as long as another pharmacist is available to fill the prescription.
The case is North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group v. Benitez, Case No. S142892.
It will be interesting to watch. If you can discriminate on the basis of religious beliefs, how about racial or cultural problems with a patient? Working in favor of the doctors is the fact that this is not a life-threatening medical issue and the availability of alternative doctors. Quite a year for the California Supreme Court.
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