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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2010, 21:28 
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Grand Poobah
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http://womensrights.change.org/blog/vie ... men_plan_b

Quote:
Faced with the prospect of a lawsuit by a small group of pharmacists opposed to emergency contraception, the Washington State Board of Pharmacy is going with door number two: throwing women under the bus.

Currently, pharmacies are required to dispense all legal time-sensitive drugs to customers, including Plan B. Now, this doesn't mean pharmacists with a "moral opposition" have to do the dispensing: the can tag in a co-worker in to fill the request. But somebody at the pharmacy has to be willing to dispense all medications, otherwise women coming in are denied their right to access a legal drug in a timely manner. Yet RH Reality Check reports that, due to the agitation of a few pharmacies, led by Ralph's Thriftway, who want to be able to completely deny women access to emergency contraception as an entity, the Board of Pharmacy would rather throw up their hands in defeat than defend women. The Board voted 3-2 to begin the process overturn their established rule and let pharmacies pick and choose who to help with time-sensitive medication as they please.

Board member Dan Connolly is quoted in the Seattle Times saying that "the state can't afford to be involved in a lengthy lawsuit." You know what women seeking emergency contraception can't afford? To be denied access at their local pharmacy, to run out of time to take the medication because they can't get to an actual comprehensive provider fast enough, to be faced with an unwanted pregnancy and the decision of whether or not to have an abortion because their attempt to be responsible and take Plan B when their standard birth control method failed was stymied.

And what kind of a message does it send if the state says that an small interest group can ride roughshod over women's rights merely by threatening a lawsuit? In all probability, Washington state would win against these pharmacies, who should be doing their job of providing all legal drugs to all customers. Allowing individuals to opt-out under consciences clauses is more than enough of a sacrifice to their "moral opposition." Or, as Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur writes, "We Judge."

While this decision is currently focused on emergency contraception, because it would give pharmacies en masse the ability to refuse to dispense an array of unspecified drugs, women won't be the only ones hurting under the new decision. As Amie Newman asks on RH Reality Check, what if pharmacies "morally opposed" to homosexuality decide to refuse to provide HIV medication to a gay customer? Or life-saving medication to a diabetic because of whatever prejudices against the person?

Washington state residents are not taking the proposed change lying down: over 4,000 have already registered their intense disapproval of overturning the established rule, the vast majority of commenters of the opinion that pharmacies shouldn't be able to refuse legal time-sensitive medication on a whim. And we have until November 30 to stop the Board of Pharmacy from making a final vote in favor of crushing women's right to access legal contraceptive drugs.


petition at link

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