by Steven Ertelt
February 14, 2008
Olympia, WA (LifeNews.com) — Abortion advocates in Washington are upset that drug stores are not all making the morning after pill available for sale. The Washington affiliate of NARAL conducted a statewide survey and claims about 10 percent of the drug stores do no sell the Plan B pill, which can cause an abortion in some cases.
The group says its survey found those stores either do not sell the drug or have a pharmacist who refused to dispense it.
Karen Cooper, the head of the pro-abortion group, held a news conference and told reporters that the group surveyed 80 percent of the pharmacies in the state and she said some of the pharmacists refused to answer her questions.
Warren Hall, the head of the Washington State Pharmacy Association, told AP he doesn’t think the NARAL figures are correct. He said one of his three pharmacies shows up on NARAL’s list as refusing to dispense the drug even though he sells it to customers.
The state has over 1,000 pharmacies and whether pharmacists should be forced to dispense the controversial drug has been a major debate.
In December, abortion advocates filed an appeal of a decision of a judge who halted a new state requirement forcing pharmacists to fill prescriptions for all drugs, including those that would violate their moral or religious beliefs.
Pharmacists who are pro-life were worried they could be forced to dispense the morning after pill.
Under pressure from pro-abortion Gov. Chris Gregoire, the pharmacy board approved the rules earlier last year.
Kevin Stormans, who owns pharmacies in the state, filed a lawsuit along with other pharmacists in July seeking to overturn the new rules.
U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton ruled that pharmacists can refuse to fill a prescription for the morning after pill or other objectionable drugs if they refer the customer to another store where they can get the order filled.
"On the issue of free exercise of religion alone, the evidence before the court convinces it that the plaintiffs … have demonstrated both a likelihood of success on the merits and the possibility of irreparable injury," Leighton wrote.
But the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the pro-abortion Northwest Women’s Law Center are asking for Judge Leighton’s injunction to be overturned.
They filed legal papers with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.