Appeals Court Forces Pharmacists to Dispense the Morning After Pill


By: Kristia Cavere

On July 8, 2009, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that pharmacists are required, regardless of their moral opposition, to provide Plan B, commonly known as the “morning-after pill.” The court’s decision took immediate effect in all western states, although this ruling will inevitably encourage abortion rights activists throughout America to use the court system to eradicate the choice of pharmacists, and other medical professionals, who have a religious or ethical opposition to abortion.

The Court stated in their ruling that, “Any refusal to dispense [Plan B]—regardless of whether it is motivated by religion, morals, conscience, ethics, discriminatory prejudices, or personal distaste for a patient—violates the rules.” The rights of a woman to end a life have taken precedence over the rights of pharmacists who choose to not destroy a potential life. The court has now shown that the standard of conscientious objection only seems to apply for liberal causes such as opposing war for draft dodgers, and that a conscientious objection in the medical establishment in support of life is insignificant.

Based on the information provided on Plan B’s official website, www.go2planb.com, the pills are an “emergency contraceptive that can prevent a pregnancy after unprotected sex” within 72 hours. If a woman is eighteen or older, she does not even need a prescription but can simply request Plan B at a pharmacy. Although the marketers of Plan B refer to it as a neutral sounding “emergency contraceptive,” what the pills do is induce abortion if a fertilized egg has implanted in the womb. The morning-after pill can be taken for three mornings-after, thus destroying a little baby that was created up to three days before.

Plan B is no ordinary medication, and it cannot be compared to any other prescription. The morning-after pills can destroy a life. A court should be able to see the distinction between a pharmacist’s refusal to dispense a medication which would save a life, versus an abortion product that’s intended to end a life.

Washington State has a law which obliges pharmacists to dispense medication, even if their personal convictions are in conflict with the drug. The owners of a supermarket pharmacy, as well as two additional pharmacists, sued Washington State, stating that their Christian belief that a fetus is a life that should not be terminated prevented them from distributing Plan B. They thought the First Amendment, through the free exercise of religion clause, would allow them to refuse to provide the morning-after pill. The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal organization, filed the initial lawsuit.

In one of the most erroneous decisions of his presidency, President George W. Bush, in August 2006, approved Plan B being given over the counter status which allowed women to access the pills without a prescription. It is interesting to note that of the three judges which form the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, two were appointed by the second President Bush, showing that even when a Republican president appoints judges to the bench it is difficult to ensure conservative decisions.

Liberals claim to be in favor of “choices” for women, but in reality they are only concerned with choices which further their ideology of abortion in any way, in every phase of pregnancy. A pro-life female who is a medical personnel, and who chooses not to participate in any part of destroying an innocent life, does not have any of the consideration or support of the radical feminists who seek to take that choice away from her.

Women are choosing to abort a fetus because they do not believe their unborn baby is a life, whereas some pharmacists would choose to not provide the Plan B pills because they believe that a fertilized egg is a life. In this situation there are two conflicting choices, one between a woman and her body and a pharmacist and their actions. If the courts are going to uphold their decision based upon “choice,” they must offer similar weight to those who would choose to defend life as those who would prematurely end it.

The courts are coercing social morality because of the inconsistency in which the morning-after pill is treated. They cannot rule in favor of a woman’s right to choose to abort a baby to better her life, while at the same time taking away a pharmacist’s right to choose to not take away a life. The judicial system should never be able to compel a person, who has not been deemed by an act or war or a criminal court, to have their life ended.

Slavery can be defined as an institution in which a person has complete ownership over another human and views them as property, has the control to make all decisions for their slave’s life including if they live or die, and has the option of thinking of the slave as a non-human. Abortion, like slavery, is another practice which bequeaths to one human an absolute right over another person based upon a defined relationship which justifies repugnant behavior.

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