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The State of Washington in 2007 adopted rules requiring pharmacists to provide access to legal prescriptions to all who request them and prohibited pharmacists from discriminating in the provision of services and products.  This was to circumvent individual pharmacists or companies from objecting to the provision of prescriptions for the RU-486 or Plan B drugs designed as "emergency contraception".  

But today, Federal Judge Ronald Leighton ruled that pharmacists are not required to dispense a medication they feel is at odd with their personal religious beliefs and that Washington State's requirement for them to do so is an infringement of their rights.

It should be noted that this decision is actually a "remanded" case from the Ninth Circuit that told him his original 2008 ruling on this matter was incorrect.  This Judge then held an 11 day hearing but came up with this ruling based on supposed business exemptions that pharmacies can choose to not stock drugs such as paperwork, supply availability, cost etc.

What I think is going to happen is this is going to be appealed (AGAIN) to the Ninth Circuit and they are going to blast this ruling out.  But, I would suspect the conservatives are setting up a test case for SCOTUS.

On a side note, legislation is pending in Washington's legislature that would require those hospitals and medical facilities and insurance plans that offer maternity services to also offer access to abortion services.

Update Thanks for the Rec listing.

Originally posted to chipoliwog on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 01:39 PM PST.

Also republished by PacNW Kossacks.

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