Virginia A new drug store at a Virginia strip mall is putting its faith in an unconventional business plan: No candy. No sodas. And no birth control.
Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy is among at least seven pharmacies across the nation that are refusing as a matter of faith to sell contraceptives of any kind, even if a person has a prescription. States across the country have been wrestling with the issue of pharmacists who refuse on religious grounds to dispense birth control or morning-after pills, and some have enacted laws requiring drug stores to fill the prescriptions.
In Virginia, though, pharmacists can turn away any prescription for any reason.
"I am grateful to be able to practice," pharmacy manager Robert Semler said, "where my conscience will never be violated and my faith does not have to be checked at the door each morning."
Semler ran a similar pharmacy before opening the new store, which is not far from Dulles International Airport. The store only sells items that are health-related, including vitamins, skin care products and over-the-counter medications.