Wednesday, February 22, 2012

As expected, Judge rules Plan B sales requirement unconstitutional.

Of course it is.  File this one under "what were they thinking?"  Expect the state, which has unlimited public money, to continue to pursuit this.  After all, the base has to be satiated.

Judge rules state can't force pharmacists to sell 'Plan B' contraception

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Updated today at 12:35 PM

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A U.S. District judge has ruled that Washington state cannot force pharmacies to sell emergency contraceptives

Retired pharmacist CJ Kahler had been fighting the state prescription rules for years.

"I'm responsible for me. Washington State isn't responsible for me. I'm responsible for me and I should be able to stand on my conscience," said Kahler. "People in the united states have fought for freedom of conscience for many years. And now pharmacists and pharmacies are doing the same."

Attorney Lisa Stone is amazed that reproductive rights are still an issue in 2012.

"Patients have a right to health care and no individual can impose his beliefs or her beliefs on that patient," she said.

It's a nasty political, social and legal battle that has raged in the streets and courtrooms since the State of Washington adopted rules requiring all non-hospital pharmacies to stock and sell (with a few exceptions) all drugs. That included so-called "morning after" contraceptives, something that didn't sit well with some pharmacists who say they should have the right to refuse to sell those items on the basis that it violates their religious beliefs.



Just a guy said...

(I inadvertantly hit "delete" instead of "publish" on my cell phone due to my chubby fingers.)

Jack tells us:

"Reproductive rights" aren't an "issue" here. the "issue" is whether the government can force a store owner to stock any item that the government "deems" that it should.

Martin Hash said...

There are corner cases. If Government is to allow private business to perform functions that are important to the state (which I agree with); for example, dispensing important drugs, then those drugs MUST BE AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE!

However, there are lots of ways to make things available - it's a balancing act.

Just a guy said...

No one questions the availability of the drug in question; in the vast majority of cases, its as easy as driving down the street to get it. KOIN, for example, reported tonight they were unable to find a drug store in Clark County that didn't carry Plan B.

To that end, the drug would be available even with this ruling. Were can you be in this state that you couldn't drive an hour and not pass a pharmacy that doesn't have this product?

Is there another circumstance that you're aware of where government forces a private store to sell a specific, physical, product?

Earlier, I stated that the enforcement of an "all drugs must be available to everyone" scenario is impractical due to the sheer number of drugs available; if that standard were applied to all pharmacies, they'd be the size of Rhode Island.

To that end, some pharmacies do NOT carry "all drugs," for example, some pharmacies refuse to carry oxycontin because of the robbery risk.

Why isn't the state going after them?

That these pharmacies are allowed to opt out of selling oxy tends to put the lie to a requirement that all drugs must be available at all pharmacies. That makes the entirety of this situation political, start to finish... and makes the other arguments in favor of the "must have/must sell" position rather hollow.

Jack said...

Gee. How dare anyone tell the arrogant pukes in government that they can't force people to do something? Government has "forgotten" that the people run this country.