Governor Christine Gregoire is expected to appeal the federal court ruling which supports the pharmacists’ right to not dispense Plan B for reasons of conscience.
Judge Ronald Leighton noted that Washington state accepted all sorts of secular reasons for not stocking or dispensing a drug, but excluded conscience reasons. He declared the application of their rules to force pharmacists to dispense morning after pills to be unconstitutional. He noted that the Washington Board of Pharmacy stocking rules were “designed to force religious objectors to dispense Plan B.”
Judge Leighton had originally blocked the application of the dispensing rule to make Stormans’ pharmacy carry Plan B, but that was overturned by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which remanded the case back to Leighton. After an 11 day trial, this new opinion was issued, which Leighton says has been created with a skeptical appeals court in mind.
Kevin Stormans, owner of Ralph’s Thriftway pharmacy and fellow pharmacists have been waging a legal battle since 2007, with the aid of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and Seattle law firm of Ellis, Li & McKinstry.
Pharmer congratulates these courageous Washington Pharmacists on their legal victory, and prays for their continued success.
See the Ruling by Judge Ron Leighton HERE.
Blagojevich Rule Challenged | Daily News | NCRegister.com.
In Sangamon County, Circuit Court Judge John Belz ruled that Illinois pharmacists can’t be forced to dispense the morning after pills against their own ethical standards and religious beliefs.
Opponents promise to immediately challenge this ruling, but Atty. Francis J. Manion, ACLJ senior counsel, who represented the conscientiously objecting pharmacists notes that the court ruling addresses specific arguments for which the Illinois state attorneys were not able to provide evidence. For example, they were not able to argue that a single woman had been prevented from obtaining her morning after pills by a pharmacist who would not personally provide them. For that reason, an appeal on their part will likely be a waste of Illinois’ negative financial resources.
The Illinois edict, which was overturned in the circuit court, had basically been designed by Planned Parenthood, and this is the case for many other unconstitutional state laws opposing the human rights of health care professionals.
The article linked addresses the battle over conscience rights in numerous other states, including Wisconsin, Washington, where the pharmacists are in trouble, and in several more states which have recently supported pharmacists of conscience.
Scroll down in this blog to see the prescriber information for Plan B, which clearly contradicts the false premise of the Wisconsin regulations, forcing pharmacists to dispense Plan B (as well as all other hormonal birth control). Expect a new legal battle to erupt in that state as the pharmacy owners are forced to apply the legislation and fire conscientiously objecting pharmacists. Wisconsin’s legislation targeting the pharmacists was hidden in budget bills by the democrat legislature, and passed without much notice. The newer state government might find cost containment benefits in rescinding the legislation.
The legal battle is ongoing in the state of Washington, which the pro-abortion Governor Gregoire and her Board of Pharmacy might drive all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It might be the crowning achievement of their careers.
Washington state lawyers acknowledge pharmacies’ right to not stock Plan B :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).
Kevin Storman owned a number of Thriftway stores in the Olympia area of Washington State. He decided to back his pharmacists decision (at Ralph’s Thriftway) to avoid stocking and dispensing the Plan B morning after pill.
This sent governor Christine Gregoire into a foaming frenzy of involving herself in a boycott of the stores, and threatening to fire members of the Washington Board of Pharmacy if they backed the freedom of pharmacists to conscientiously object to dispensing this abortive drug.
In 2009, a federal judge decided in favor of the store owners and pharmacists but that ruling was struck down on appeal and the case was remanded back to the district court.
Recently a request for summary judgment, from the Governor, was turned down, and trial was scheduled to resume in Federal District Court in Tacoma, Washington.
This past Wednesday, July 7, the Board’s lawyers signaled that there would be regulations enacted to protect pharmacists who would not dispense this drug, providing that they would refer the patient elsewhere.
Curiosity has arisen as to the reason behind a Gregoire Administration reversal of policy regarding the pharmacists.
Gregoire, being crazy-pro-abortion enough, was on the Obama Short List for Souter’s position on the U.S. Supreme court, but this position eventually went to Sotomayor.
Elena Kagan is the likely leftist body to fill the open position on the Supreme Court left by liberal Justice John Stevens. Gregoire is on the list to possibly occupy the solicitor general vacancy left by Kagan should she be confirmed.
Perhaps the prospect of moving to Washington DC has left Gregoire less interested in the local issues of Washington State.
From the Becket Fund: http://www.becketfund.org/files/final%20response%20to%20msj.pdf