Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-13-09

Appeals Court Rules Pharmacists Can't Refuse Plan B

The US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that pharmacists in Washington State must dispense Emergency Contraception (EC), also known as Plan B, even if they have personal religious objections to the medication. The ruling overturned a temporary injunction from the US District Court in Seattle that "prevented state officials from penalizing pharmacists who refused to dispense Plan B as long as they referred consumers to a nearby pharmacy where it was available," according to the Los Angeles Times.

The temporary injunction was issued after the owners of a pharmacy and two other pharmacists who worked elsewhere sued in response to regulations enacted in 2007. Those regulations barred pharmacists from violating patient privacy; harassing, intimidating, or discriminating against patients; or refusing to fill legally prescribed medications, reported Courthouse News. Stormans Inc., which owns the store Ralph's Thriftway, and pharmacists Rhonda Mesler and Margo Thelen argued that the regulation would force them to choose between their jobs and their religious belief that life begins at fertilization. Plan B prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus.

US District Judge Ronald Leighton issued the injunction in favor of the plaintiffs on the grounds that the pharmacists' freedom to exercise religion was violated by the requirement to dispense Plan B. The three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit, including two conservatives appointed by President George W. Bush and a Clinton appointee, argued that Leighton's decision was based on the wrong standard of review. The appeals court unanimously ruled that the Washington regulations were not intended to interfere "with religious beliefs or practices and were intended instead to promote patients' health," as stated in the San Francisco Chronicle. Appelate Judge Kim Wardlaw said that Leighton's injunction did not consider the consequences faced by "sexually active women of childbearing age [who] will be denied reasonable access to Plan B."

Media Resources: Los Angeles Times 7/9/09; Courthouse News 7/9/09; San Francisco Chronicle 7/9/09


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

1/27/2016 Study Exposes 'Gender Gap' in Media Coverage of Reproductive Issues - A new study by the Women's Media Center has revealed more than half of news stories focusing on reproductive issues are written by men. According to WMC Media Watch: the Gender Gap in Coverage of Reproductive Issues, men penned 52 percent of bylines discussing issues of reproductive health care - including contraception and abortion - compared to just 37 percent by women. . . .
 
1/27/2016 Taiwan Elects First Woman President - In a landslide victory, the leader of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Tsai Ing-wen won the country's presidential election, becoming the first woman in Taiwan's history to hold the position. Emphasizing her party's commitment to maintaining Taiwan's independence from China, Tsai won over young voters eager to usher in a political changing of the guard following some 70 years of dominance by the pro-Chinese unification party, the Kuomintang (KMT), chaired by presidential opponent Eric Chu. . . .
 
1/26/2016 Anti-Abortion Extremists Behind Planned Parenthood Attack Videos Indicted - Two anti-abortion extremists responsible for last year's misleading videos attacking Planned Parenthood have been indicted on criminal charges by a grand jury in Houston, Texas. On Monday, Harris County district attorney Devon Anderson announced that David Daleiden, the director of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) - the group behind deceptive videos falsely accusing Planned Parenthood of illegally selling fetal tissue - was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and on a misdemeanor charge related to the purchasing of human organs. . . .