if the pharmacy is entirely privately owned, receives no tax breaks/subsidies from the federal, state or local government, and the pharamacy makes its policy known to customers, then there should not be any consquences to the pharamacy
I have to disagree with this, since it overlooks the fact that pharmacies and pharmacists are licensed by the state. This is because they are acknowledged to offer services and products which can potentially be harmful if improperly provided, so government oversight and establishment of standards that ensure public safety is justified. If a pharmacy can pick and choose which services and medications to offer, or allow its employees to do the same, then it becomes nearly impossible for the consumer to trust that whatever pharmacy they go to will meet consistent, appropriate standards for their services.
As an example in a different context, the British public health service sent investigators to a number of homeopathic pharmacies posing as travellers to areas where malaria is endemic and asking for anti-malrial prophylactics. In all cases, they were discouraged by the pharmacists from using these proven drugs and encouraged to use homeopathic preparations with no real efficacy. Following this advice from a licensed, and so supposedly trustworthy, professional would expose the customer to unecessary medical risk based solely on the pharmacists idiosyncratic beliefs about medicine.
The case seems much the same to me if someone goes to a pharmacy requesting emergency contraception, regular contraception, AIDS medications, or any other legitimate medical product the pharmacist may have personal objections to. Being denied the service, and perhaps being given inappropriate or inaccurate information about the condition or the medications, potentially exposes the customer to harm based on the individual preferences of the pharmacist. I don’t believe this is acceptable, especially for a profession licensed by the government for the purpose of ensuring accurate and trustworthy information and service for the customer. The only reason the issue comes up at all is because the views in question are more widespread and generally based on religious belief, unlike the homeopathy example. This is a pragmatic political reason for exempting pharmacists from the general standards of licensed medical professionals, but it is not I think a strong reason based on principle.
Allowing pharmaicsts and pharmacies to choose their own exemptions from the standard services they are licensed to provide creates what I believe is an unacceptable burden on the pateint. Should a rape victim be expected to survey local phramacies to determine which will or will not humiliate her by denying her a prescription contraceptive? I hardly think that’s reasonable. Part of the burden of being granted a state license to practice, and profit from, pharmacy is to serve patients according to pre-established and uniform standards set for the sake of public welfare, and if that is unacceptable then there are other careers available. You’ve made this same point regarding individual pharmacists, so I don’t see why it should not apply to the institutions they work for.