Pieces first started popping up a few months back about pharmacists refusing to issue birth control pills, and the most recent treatment of the burgeoning phenomenon shares the same infirmity as those earlier pieces (and polls). That is, they tend to focus on the useless question of whether pharmacists "have a right" to fail to dispense birth control or the morning after pill, without clarifying whether they mean:

(1) Should the state require pharmacists to dispense those medications?—or

(2) Is a pharmacy entitled to require its employees to provide customers with the medication on pain of dismissal?

The answer to (1) is clearly "no": If someone wants to provide a limited set of services in accordance with the dictates of his conscience, it's not the state's business to tell him he's got to violate his belief system to do more if he's going to ply the trade at all. But the answer to the second question is equally clearly "yes": You can't insist that a company continue to employ you if you're going to refuse to serve their customers at your discretion. Now, practically speaking, consideration (2) will probably end up being dominant: It's not in CVS's interest to refuse to sell a legal product to willing customers. Unfortunately, states seem to be considering legislation that would ignore that distinction in both directions: Some would seek to immunize pharmacists who refuse to do their jobs as a matter of purported freedom of conscience, while others would define every pharmacists job to conflict with that conscience.

Now, again, I don't expect pharamcists who presume to judge and lecture their customers to last long. But let them be punished by the market; let them be pushed into penury by their own indignant customers rather than granting their presumption the glow of martyrdom.