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

7/2/2015 President Obama Will Expand Overtime Pay to Millions of Americans - President Obama is proposing a plan this week to broaden overtime pay that is expected to affect millions of Americans in the working class, especially women. In an Op-Ed written for and published by the Huffington Post, President Obama summarized what he called a successful week for Americans. . . .
 
7/2/2015 National Portrait Gallery Honors Dolores Huerta - Feminist Majority Foundation board member and lifelong feminist activist Dolores Huerta was honored by the National Portrait Gallery last night as the first Latina person to have a featured exhibition at the museum. Huerta is an active defender of civil rights, farm workers' rights, women's rights, and immigrant rights, and has been for over five decades. . . .
 
7/1/2015 Women's Rights Activists are Suing the Kenyan Government for Reproductive Rights - A woman in Kenya is suing the Kenyan government for failure to provide safe and legal abortions, which caused her daughter - a 15-year-old rape victim - to suffer a kidney failure after undergoing the procedure illegally. Currently, there are four petitioners on the case: the mother of the survivor, the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya, and two other women's rights advocates. . . .