By Curt Woodward
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Pharmacists have sued Washington state over a new regulation that requires the sale of emergency contraception, also known as the "morning-after pill."
In a lawsuit filed in federal court, a pharmacy owner and two pharmacists say the rule that took effect Thursday violates their civil rights by forcing them into "choosing between their livelihoods and their deeply held religious and moral beliefs."
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The state ruled earlier this year that druggists who believe emergency contraceptives are tantamount to abortion can't stand in the way of a patient's right to the drugs.
This is a tricky issue. We’re not sure the legalities involved in this or most law-related issues. But it seems like the owner of a pharmacy has the right to sell or not sell any product he or she wants. However, we thought there would be some moral obligation on the part of pharmacists to supply all legal drugs. The reasons are two-fold: A) once you start picking which medication you pick you start going down a slippery slope ("I ain’t gonna carry no opiates cause I ain’t sending one more red cent to those Afghani-Talibanis"). And B) Economics. You’re potentially leaving a lot of dollars out there. Or conversely, you could only carry the drugs with strong mark-ups.
Whatever the case is, it looks like there may need to be a Plan C for Washington state lawmakers.