I am a church minister who organizes the conduct of pro-life seminars for women in slum areas. In one of the outreach programs I have conducted, I have received reports about a pharmacist in a certain barangay (village) who sells drugs that are meant for aborting unwanted pregnancies. Because of this, I’d like to know if there is a criminal liability against this pharmacist who sells abortion drugs. Thank you for your guidance. May our Lord God Jesus Christ bless us all. Amen.
Abortion is currently considered as a criminal act that is prohibited and penalized under Philippine laws. The Revised Penal Code of the Philippines (RPC) not only punishes the women who undergo abortion, but also those who assist them in undergoing abortion, including medical personnel who causes or assists in causing abortion.
Article 259 of this law states:
Art. 259. Abortion practiced by a physician or midwife and dispensing of abortives.–The penalties provided in Article 256 shall be imposed in its maximum period, respectively, upon any physician or midwife who, taking advantage of their scientific knowledge or skill, shall cause an abortion or assist in causing the same.
Any pharmacist who, without the proper prescription from a physician, shall dispense any abortive shall suffer arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding 1,000 pesos.” (Emphasis supplied)
As clearly stated in the above-cited provision, pharmacists are criminally liable for dispensing abortifacients without proper prescription from a doctor. Thus, if the pharmacist subject of your query dispensed any abortifacients without a doctor’s prescription, then the pharmacist may be held criminally liable for allowing others access to such drugs without a proper medical prescription.
Should it be proven in court that the pharmacist illegally dispenses abortifacients, he/she may be punished with an imprisonment of one (1) month and one (1) day to six (6) months and a fine not exceeding One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00). Thus, it is important that you immediately report to proper authorities the illegal activities of the pharmacist in order to bring an end and penalize her unlawful conduct.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
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