Remember those pharmacists who refused to dispense Plan B (a “morning-after” pill) because they were religiously opposed to it?
And remember how pissed off you were because who the $#&% are they to decide what’s best for women?
Pharmacists in Washington state had filed a lawsuit so they wouldn’t have to do their job and fill those orders. A district court agreed and granted them a temporary injunction saying they wouldn’t have to fill those prescriptions.
On Wednesday, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided to lift the injunction. Those pharmacists can no longer withhold the pill from customers. Hallelujah!
The three 9th Circuit judges found common ground despite differing outlooks: Two conservatives named to the court by President George W. Bush and a liberal named by President Clinton made up the panel.
The right to freely exercise one’s religion “does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a valid and neutral law of general applicability,” the 9th Circuit panel wrote.
“Any refusal to dispense — regardless of whether it is motivated by religion, morals, conscience, ethics, discriminatory prejudices, or personal distaste for a patient — violates the rules,” the panel said.
If you’re interested, you can read the actual decision here (PDF).
Again, the pharmacists have a right to practice their religion, but not at the expense of someone else’s health. A woman shouldn’t have to suffer because some pharmacists can’t do their job properly. If they are opposed to dealing with contraceptives, they’re in the wrong line of work.
If I, as a vegetarian, worked at Subway but refused to make sandwiches with meat on them because that went against my Jain religion, I would rightfully be fired. The bigger question, though, would be why I decided to take that job in the first place.
(via Feministing — Thanks to June for the link!)