Sunday, February 17, 2008

Stay Denied in Pharmacy Plan B Case

Druggists can deny Plan B, judge rules:

Pharmacies and pharmacists with religious or moral objections to 'Plan B' emergency contraception may continue to refuse to dispense it until a lawsuit is settled, a federal judge ruled Friday.

The state had asked Judge Ronald Leighton of the U.S. District Court to reinstate rules requiring pharmacists and pharmacies to dispense all legal medications, pending outcome of an appeal. Last year, Leighton suspended the rules as they pertain to Plan B, the so-called 'morning-after pill,' by granting an injunction.
See also Judge again rules druggists can deny morning-after pill, Seattle P-I, Feb. 15, 2008.

A little chronology:
  • July 2007. The state Board of Pharmacy issues rules saying that pharmacists have to fill all lawfully prescribed drugs and devices. See WAC 246-869-010, Pharmacies' Responsibilites, and WAC 246-863-095, Pharmacist's professional responsibilities. A letter sent from the Board of Pharmacy is here.

  • Nov. 2007. Judge Ronald B. Leighton grants an injunction to pharmacists who challenged the rule. The pharmacists said it forced them to violate their religious principles. Judge: Druggists may withhold "morning-after" pill, Seattle Times, Nov. 9, 2007. The opinion, Stormans Inc. v. Selecky, No. C07-5374RBL (W.D. Wash. Nov. 8, 2007), is here. ACLU release, Nov. 8.

  • Dec. 2007. Intervenors -- 7 citizens represented by the Northwest Women's Law Center, the ACLU of Washington, and Planned Parenthood of Western Washington -- announced they were appealing the injunction. Press release, Dec. 10, 2007.

  • Feb. 2008. Judge Leighton denies the request by the State Board of Health and the Board of Pharmacy to stay the injunction -- that is, let the regulation stand -- while the appeal to the Ninth Circuit is pending.

  • Feb. 29 is deadline for filing the appeal.

  • Oct. 2008 is when trial is scheduled.

Photo: Dr. R.V. Toker prepares prescription in U.S. Coal and Coke Co. clinic, Gary Mines, McDowell County, WV, 08/16/1946. National Archives, ARC Identifier: 540833.

1 comment:

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