Washington To Appeal Federal Court's Plan B Ruling

Mar 22, 2012
Originally published on March 21, 2012 12:00 am

Washington will appeal a recent federal ruling on the state’s pharmacy regulations. Last month a federal district court judge found the state’s rules on dispensing medications unconstitutional. At the heart of the case is emergency birth control pills.

Federal district court judge Ronald Leighton ruled the state’s regulations violated pharmacists’ right to exercise their religious beliefs. He said the rules forced them to do something they deem morally objectionable.

He concluded the regulations’ real intent was to quash pharmacists’ objections to dispensing the emergency contraception known as Plan B.

The state rejects that conclusion. Attorneys will argue the regulations apply to all prescriptions, not just Plan B. They say there are already provisions in place for pharmacists who don’t want to fill prescriptions for personal reasons.

The state pharmacy board adopted the regulations to ensure that patients receive their prescriptions in a timely manner.

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