Washington Pharmacy Board Approves New Rules With No Conscience Clause

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 12, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 12
, 2007

Olympia, WA (LifeNews.com) — The Washington state pharmacy board has approved new rules require pharmacists to fill all legal prescriptions for drugs. The rule would apply even if the pharmacist objects to the drug on the grounds that it could cause an abortion or for other moral or religious reasons.

The state board approved the new rules on a unanimous vote saying that pharmacists can’t get in the way of a patient’s "right" to a prescription.

Pharmacists who have a problem with a drug can get a co-worker to fill the order but only if another pharmacist is present. They can’t make a customer wait for a pharmacist to arrive in a later shift.

The board also said that pharmacies would be required to stock all drugs to serve their customers, which could require some pharmacies that don’t want to stock the morning after pill to keep it on hand.

Health Department spokesman Jeff Smith told the Associated Press that the new rules will take effect in mid-June.

The rule is a compromise worked out after pro-abortion Gov. Chris Gregoire threatened to remove members of the pharmacy board after they initially proposed ruled with a more expansive conscience clause.

The debate over the rules came about after pharmacists objected to filling prescriptions for the morning after pill. Since then, the FDA approved over the counter status allowing non-prescription sales to anyone over the age of 18.

Pro-life groups have objected to the FDA decision saying it would lead to risky sex, pointing out the drug doesn’t reduce abortion or pregnancy rates, and saying that men who sexually abuse young women could buy the drug to cover up their actions.