Life Issues / Family Ethics Political Action Committee of Southwest Washington

Conscience Clauses


Inslee orders state to update hospital-merger rules

Pressed to address the many recent hospital mergers and affiliations with Catholic health care systems that proscribe some types of reproductive and end-of-life care, Gov. Jay Inslee has directed the state to modernize its process for approving changes in hospital ownership or delivery of care.

Hospital realignments, although presented as "affiliations," may be similar to traditional sales, Inslee said in a recent directive to the state's Department of Health. Changes in control of the hospital may affect access to health services, cost containment or quality of care, he said.

"I am very concerned for the potential of these relationships to lead to restrictions in constitutionally protected care for Washingtonians," he said in a letter to Kathleen Taylor, executive director of the ACLU of Washington, whose organization has taken issue with potential curbs in services because of affiliations governed by religion-based health care systems.

Catholic Bishops: Obama's Solution 'Is Unacceptable'
By Terence P. Jeffrey February 11, 2012

( - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement late on Friday declaring that the small alteration President Barack Obama had announced earlier in the day to a regulation that would force all health-care plans in the United States to cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives--including those that cause abortion--is 'unacceptable" because, among other things, it does not protect the freedom-of-conscience rights of secular for-profit employers, or secular non-profit employers, or religious insurers, or self-insured religious employers, or individual Americans.  More ...

Plan C, for conscience
One American state has thought better of its policy to browbeat pharmacists into selling the morning after pill.
By Cristina Alarcon
19 July 2010

I was thrilled to learn that Washington State will be creating new rules for pharmacists who have conscientious objections to providing services or products they find morally objectionable. The new regulations would give plaintiffs in a Washington lawsuit -- the owners of Ralph's Thriftway pharmacy and two pharmacists -- the right to refuse to stock or dispense Plan B "morning after pill" based on their belief that life is sacred from the moment of conception.

This is a great turn-around by both the state and the Pharmacy College Board, which for several years maintained that pharmacists’ freedom of conscience had to be restricted in order to ensure consumer access to the morning after pill. Although in 2006 Pharmacy Board members had unanimously supported a rule that would protect conscience for pharmacists and pharmacy owners, an ideological move by Governor Christine Gregoire saw their jobs imperilled should they stick to that position.

Buckling under pressure, the board adopted new language mandating pharmacists to stock and dispense the medication even when doing so violates their conscience. The board adopted this regulation even though it admitted that it found no evidence that anyone in the state had ever been unable to obtain Plan B (or any other time-sensitive medication) due to moral or religious objections. The Becket Fund, which came to the defence of the family owned pharmacy and its two pharmacists, filed suit to prevent the new regulation from forcing them out of their profession.

More ...

Federal Appeals Court Okays Injunction Protecting Pro-Life Pharmacists

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 1, 2008

Olympia, WA ( -- A federal appeals court has upheld an injunction in a lower court ruling that halted a new state requirement forcing pharmacists to fill prescriptions for all drugs. The mandate included drugs that would violate their moral or religious beliefs of pharmacists who don't want to be involved in abortions.

Washington state pharmacists who are pro-life were worried they could be forced to dispense the morning after pill or birth control drugs.

Under pressure from pro-abortion Gov. Chris Gregoire, the pharmacy board approved the rules in 2007.

Kevin Stormans, who owns pharmacies in the state, filed a lawsuit along with other pharmacists in July seeking to overturn the new rules and opt out of dispensing the Plan B pills.

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 Thursday, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals turned back a request from the state government and abortion advocates to suspend the judge's preliminary injunction while their appeal of Judge Leighton's decision moves forward.

Full story at:

Pope urges pharmacists to reject abortion pill

Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:52 AM ET

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pharmacists must be allowed to refuse to supply drugs that cause abortion or euthanasia, Pope Benedict said on Monday, calling on health professionals to be "conscientious objectors" against such practices.

The Pope told a convention of Roman Catholic pharmacists that part of their job was to help protect human life from conception until natural death -- the Church teaching that rules out any deliberate termination of pregnancy or euthanasia.

"It is not possible to anaesthetize the conscience, for example, when it comes to molecules whose aim is to stop an embryo implanting or to cut short someone's life," the Pope said.

The so-called abortion pill, which is available in many European Union countries and has had regulatory approval in the United States since 2000, has not been authorized in Italy.

Full story at:;_ylt=Ar5qoYnjU1rFyBI7WFVlnMCs0NUE


US Court Rules Pharmacists Must Have Rights of Conscience Respected
Lawyer says, “We forced the most pro-abortion Governor in the country to eat his words and to backtrack a long
By Hilary White

ST. LOUIS, Illinois, October 17, 2007 ( – The rights of pharmacists and other health care professionals to refuse to dispense abortifacient drugs have taken a step forward, according to a statement from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). A long running dispute between the state of Illinois, pharmacy owners such as Walgreens and Walmart stores and several pharmacists who refused to dispense abortifacient drugs has resulted in an agreement that pharmacists must be allowed to opt out.

In 2005, Walgreens pharmacist Rich Quayle was suspended from his job and said he would look for other work rather than agree to dispense the morning after pill in accord with a recently passed law. In April 2005, Governor Rod Blagojevich said that the “right of conscience does not apply to pharmacists” and issued an edict attempting to force all pharmacists in the state to distribute the drugs.

In response the ACLJ filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that Walgreens engaged in unlawful religious discrimination by suspending indefinitely Quayle and two of his colleagues who requested accommodation of their religious objections to dispensing the “morning-after pill.”

By the end of 2005, the ACLJ was involved in a series of interconnected legal actions in the matter, including suing Walgreens, Walmart and Governor Blagojevich on behalf of seven pharmacists on the grounds that the governor’s rule violated pharmacists' constitutional and statutory rights under Health Care Right of Conscience Act.

The ACLJ issued a media release this week saying that the state of Illinois has agreed that the Governor’s rule “does not apply to individual pharmacists, and that the state will never apply it to individual pharmacists”. ACLJ lawyer Frank Manion said that despite cases still pending against Walgreens and Walmart, “we've now got his attorney general's office on our side when it comes to the question of whether or not pharmacists are covered by the Right of Conscience Act”.

“Considering what we we've been up against in this state, these are all significant developments,” he wrote.

The governor has “been forced to retreat from his original position” and recognize pharmacists as health care professionals with a right of conscientious objection. The state must now find a way to try to acknowledge their objections and establish a procedure to accommodate most situations.

Manion wrote, “We forced the most pro-abortion Governor in the country to eat his words and to backtrack a long way from his April 2005 bluster and we've now got his attorney general's office on our side when it comes to the question of whether or not pharmacists are covered by the Right of Conscience Act.”

The question of exactly how the rule will apply is still open but, Manion writes, “The major question has been settled.”

“Objecting pharmacists cannot be threatened, harassed, or forced to dispense Plan B against their conscientious convictions without their employers a) violating the state's Rule; b) violating the Health Care Right of Conscience Act.”

Read related coverage:
ACLJ to Defend Two Pharmacists Fired for Refusing to Provide Abortifacients

Washington Pharmacy Board Examined Pro-Abortion Plan B Complaint

Olympia, WA ( -- The state pharmacy board has completed its review of complaints nine women filed after a local pharmacy denied their request to fill prescriptions for the morning after pill. Though it closed the investigation, the debate about Ralph’s Thriftway pharmacy and three others that refused to fill orders is far from over. The women, all hailing from Olympia, filed the complaint with the Washington State Board of Pharmacy in August. The nine women say they had a total of 17 rejections by pharmacies in Olympia and Lacey, Washington when they tried to purchase the morning after pill. The complaints covered old rules and the pharmacy board found that Ralph’s Thriftway and the other stores involved followed a general practice of sending women to other pharmacies when they wouldn't honor a prescription for the controversial drug. Now, pro-abortion activists have filed 10 more complaints following new rules that went into effect in July requiring pharmacists to dispense all drugs, including those that violate their conscience. As a result, Kevin Stormans, who owns pharmacies in question, told the Tacoma News Tribune newspaper, “It’s really not a win." Read the complete story.

Illinois Court Rules Pharmacists May Reject Plan B
By Peter J. Smith

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, August 3, 2007 ( - Illinois pharmacists are not obligated to violate their consciences and dispense Plan-B and "emergency contraceptives" according to this week's ruling by a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge Jeanne Scott ruled Tuesday that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's executive order in April 2005 requiring pharmacies "without delay" to provide Plan-B and other abortifacient "emergency contraceptives" mandated store owners to provide it, but did not mean that pharmacists themselves had to violate their conscience and religious beliefs by dispensing it.

Scott's decision means that a discrimination lawsuit by pharmacist Ethan Vandersand can proceed against retail giant Wal-Mart, which contended it had a legal obligation to punish incompliant pharmacists under the executive order. Wal-Mart asked for a dismissal of the case Ethan Vandersand v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. on the basis that Illinois conscience legislation did not apply to pharmacists or exempt them from dispensing drugs that conflict with their religious views.

Wal-Mart placed Vandersand on unpaid leave after the pharmacist declined to dispense Plan B at the Beardstown Wal-Mart pharmacy to a Planned Parenthood nurse seeking the drug on behalf of a female patient in February 2006.

Justice Scott ruled in favor of Vandersand and his attorneys from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), who claimed Vandersand was legally protected from discipline by the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act and Title VII, which requires employers to accommodate employees' religious beliefs.
"The statute prohibits discrimination against any person for refusing to provide health care because of his conscience," Scott said, adding that providing medication "constitutes health-care services."

"Any person, including Vandersand, who refuses to participate in any way in providing medication because of his conscience is protected by the Right of Conscience Act," the US district judge ruled.

Scott's ruling means that Vandersand may proceed with his case against Wal-Mart under both the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act and Title VII. Vandersand is seeking lost pay and unspecified monetary damages against Wal-Mart.

Scott's ruling leaves in place Gov. Blagovich's executive order that pharmacies provide "emergency contraception", however it clarifies that pharmacy owners, not pharmacists have to comply with carrying out the law, and the latter are not obliged to violate their consciences.

The ruling validates the objections of the more than a dozen Illinois pharmacists who have been fired or suspended for refusing to dispense the drugs on religious or ethical grounds by employers intent on complying with the executive order.



Pharmacists Sue Washington State for Forcing Them to Sell Morning After Pill
by Elizabeth O'Brien

SEATTLE, Washington, July 27, 2007 ( - Two Washington pharmacists and a pharmacy owner have sued the State of Washington for trampling on their right to freedom of conscience with the new regulations forcing pharmacists to dispense the "morning after" pill.

Pharmacists Rhonda Mesler and Margo Thelen, accompanied by the Stormans Inc. that owns Ralph's Thriftway in Olympia, filed the lawsuit in the federal court on Wednesday. They are suing the State for forcing them to choose "between their livelihoods and their deeply held religious and moral beliefs," the Associated Press reports. This decision follows a State ruling earlier this year that took effect on Thursday. The new ruling requires pharmacists to dispense contraceptives despite any objections of conscience.

Full story at:

Appeals Court Rules Against Pharmacist Seeking Religious Rights Protection

By Gudrun Schultz

MADISON, Wisconsin, May 9, 2007 ( - The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a Wisconsin pharmacist’s conscience rights May 2, declaring it would place too great a burden on Wal-Mart to accommodate his request not to be involved in any way with the distribution of abortifacient birth control.

Neil Noesen brought a lawsuit against Medical Staffing Network Inc., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and the state of Wisconsin for religious discrimination over refusing to ensure he would not interact with customers seeking contraceptive prescriptions.

Objecting to the abortifacient properties of contraceptive prescriptions, which can cause the death of an unborn baby in the earliest stages of development by preventing it from implanting in the womb, Noesen sought permission from his employers to avoid any contact with customers seeking contraceptives, including telephone requests.

Wal-Mart had agreed that Noesen would not be required to fill or otherwise handle contraceptive prescriptions, and had conceded that he would only be asked to serve the needs of male customers or women of non-childbearing age.

Noesen was denied permission to avoid answering the telephone, however, although he was told he could pass the call to another employee if the caller wanted contraceptives.

Full article at:

Looking at the Pharmacist Conscience Clause Issue in Context

Posted By: Human Life of Washington-State Office, Dan Kennedy, CEO
27 March 2007
by Mary E

Many people have bought into the mistaken idea that the dispute over the proposed pharmacist conscience clause and Plan B is a struggle between religion and women’s health care. In reality, it is something else entirely. All impartial observers of the conscience issue need to be aware of the larger context in which it is moving: An overall strategy by the abortion industry to increase the number of health care workers performing abortion either voluntarily or through state or economic coercion.

Full story at:

Board: Druggists Must Fill Prescriptions

Associated Press Writer
April 13, 2007

SEATTLE (AP) - Druggists who believe "morning-after" birth control pills are tantamount to abortion can't stand in the way of a patient's right to the drugs, state regulators have decided.

In a unanimous vote Thursday, the state Board of Pharmacy ruled that drug stores have a duty to fill lawful prescriptions despite an individual pharmacist's personal objections to any particular medication.

Pharmacists or drug stores that violate the rules could face discipline from the board, which has the power to revoke state licenses.

The Washington State Catholic Conference and Human Life Washington, an anti-abortion group, predicted a court challenge, saying the rule wrongly forces pharmacists to administer medical treatments they consider immoral.

Full story at:


From the Board of Pharmacy
April 16, 2007

On April 12, 2007 the Board of Pharmacy unanimously adopted the proposed rules on pharmacist/pharmacies responsibilities.   These new rules recognize the patient's right to receive safe and appropriate medication without delay. The rules also clearly state what pharmacists and pharmacies must do to take care of the patient's medication needs.

These rules will go into effect 31 days after filing with the Washington State Code Reviser's Office.


Pharmacy Board Heeds Gregoire's 'Plan B' Request
August 31, 2006 
Associated Press

KENT - Druggists' personal objections should not stand in the way of a patient seeking emergency contraception, state pharmacy regulators decided Thursday.

The decision is a reversal for the state Board of Pharmacy, which has been in a political tug-of-war since it declared pharmacists might be able to deny prescriptions for personal reasons.

The seven-member Pharmacy Board adopted the new proposal - developed and pushed by Gov. Chris Gregoire - in a lopsided vote Thursday, with only Seattle pharmacist Donna Dockter dissenting.

Full story at:


Pharmacists Don't Want to Sell Morning After Pill Despite FDA Approval

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 4, 2006

Washington, DC ( -- The Food and Drug Administration may have approved sales of the morning after pill over the counter, but some pharmacists are reluctant to sell the drug. The agency's move to sell Plan B without a prescription may expand the nationwide debate about a conscience clause for pharmacists to allow them to opt out of dispensing the drug.

In Washington state, Jim Ramseth, the owner of Covington Pharmacy, doesn't want to sell the morning after pill because he believes it can work as an abortion drug.

Ramseth says he and many of his colleagues believe the drug can prevent the fertilized human embryo from implanting into her mother's uterus and begin the growing process. As a result, a unique human being is destroyed.

"Everybody draws their own lines," Ramseth told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer arguing for a conscience clause.

"And if a person's purpose is to kill a fertilized egg, then I disagree with that. Regardless of where the practitioner draws that line, they should have the right," he added.

If someone asks him for the drug, he would give them a sheet of 11 nearby pharmacies and tell customers they need to find another store that carries it.

"I don't know exactly who's carrying it because I'm not going to call and find out," he told the newspaper. "I believe people should be responsible for themselves. They can make a phone call."

When told that, in Illinois and Massachusetts, pharmacies have been forced to stock the morning after pill, he called government decisions there "totalitarian."

"As a professional, the pharmacist should be able to draw their own line as to where they want to participate in patents' care -- much like any other medical profession," Ramseth explained. "We've all sat side by side with patients and counseled them on things we felt were inappropriate in some manner."

Ramseth also says there is very little customer demand for the drug and he's reluctant to purchase a large quantity of the Plan B pills and have them sit on the shelves.

Other pharmacists, such as Jerry Leonard, pharmacy director at Drug Emporium in Charleston, West Virginia, are worried about other issues resulting from over the counter sales.

"We still don't know where it (should be) kept," he told the Charleston Daily Mail newspaper. "We have to look at risk management issues and we need to know where is the liability if there are complications, which certainly could be more than with your average over-the-counter product."

"At this point, we are not moving or taking any steps at all toward making it available until after we've clarified what the potential problems or liabilities might be," he added.

Leonard echoed Ramseth's comments by saying that customers at his store aren't asking for the morning after pill.

"We've never stocked the drug, not because we have any corporate problem with it, but just because we've never had the demand," he said.

Jeff Fulks, a pharmacist at Bee Well Pharmacy in South Charleston, is another who has moral concerns about the morning after pill.

"It interferes with conception, and if it's a situation where it interferes with life, then they're still going to have a difficult time getting me to distribute it," he told the newspaper.

With so many pharmacists have logistical, business or moral concerns about the drug, the drumbeat for conscience clauses and exceptions to requirements to sell it may get louder as state legislatures head back into session next year following the elections.


From Human Life of Washington: Petition Drive

July 5, 2006.  Your help is needed to obtain signatures in support of a conscience
clause for pharmacists. A good way to obtain signatures is to have the
petitions available in your churches.

Perhaps a short bulletin announcement calling attention to the
petition and accompanying background information would work in your

See below what one church in Sammamish is doing.

Please help in this vital effort. NARAL AND OTHER PRO-ABORTION GROUPS

Click here for printable petition.


Washington State Pharmacy Board Backs Off Pharmacist Conscience Clause

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 20, 2006


Olympia, WA ( -- After coming under fire from pro-abortion lawmakers and activists, the Washington state pharmacy board is backing away from its proposal to grant pharmacists a conscience clause that would allow them to opt out of dispensing drugs such as the morning after pill, which may cause an abortion.

The board announced the proposal earlier this year, but voted unanimously on Thursday to reconsider the wording of it at its August meeting, where it was expected to be finalized.

"They wanted to have more discussion about the draft and decide if they may want to make any changes based on all the feedback they've been receiving," Steve Saxe, executive director of the board, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper.

Full story at:


Washington Gov. Threatens Pharmacy Board Over Conscience Clause

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 6, 2006

Olympia, WA ( -- Washington Governor Christine Gregoire
threatened members of the state's pharmacy board on Monday after they
approved a limited pharmacist's conscience clause last week.

The board said pharmacists should be allowed to opt out of dispensing
drugs that violate their moral or religious beliefs as long as they
refer the customer to another pharmacist or pharmacy.

Pharmacists can opt out of filling the prescription but cannot
"obstruct a patient in obtaining a lawfully prescribed drug or device"
and must assist the customer in finding a timely alternative.

Gregoire has adamantly opposed any kind of legal protections for the
rights of pharmacists and threatened members of the board.

Saying the board "made a mistake," the governor warned that the state
legislature could overrule the Pharmacy Board's guidelines or even
replace members of the board who supported the conscience clause.

Pro-life groups support a conscience clause because they want
pharmacists to be able to opt out of dispensing drugs such as the
morning after pill, which can sometimes cause an abortion.

According to a report in the Olympian newspaper, the governor said she
was exploring her legal options on how to change the conscience clause
by the August vote.

"I want to work through the process. I want this corrected. I wanted
it done right in August. If it's not, I will do what is necessary to
correct it," Gregoire said.

She and abortion advocacy groups favor a mandate forcing pharmacists
to fill all legal prescriptions, even for abortion-causing drugs,
similar to one Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich put in place there. He has
come under fire for his executive order and pharmacists have filed
three lawsuits against him to overturn it.

C.J. Kahler, past president of the Washington State Pharmacy
Association, told AP that his group favors the board's preliminary

"The patient needs to get the medication they need; the pharmacist
needs to be able to practice within their conscience limits. This
allows both,… he said.

Washington is one of a handful of states nationwide to allow over the
counter sales of the morning after pill, which pro-life observers say
makes it more important to have a pharmacists' conscience clause.

Also, pharmacists say a conscience clause is needed.

Daphne McBreen of Seattle said it's not difficult for a customer to
get another pharmacist to fill a prescription.

Jeffery Williams, a pharmacist with Saint Francis Hospital in Federal
Way, agreed and told the board, "Suppression of conscience is coercion
and discrimination."

The board backed the limited conscience clause on a 5-0 vote.


Friday, June 2, 2006 - 12:00 AM

A step closer to letting pharmacists refuse to give morning-after pill

By Cara Solomon
Seattle Times staff reporter

TUMWATER — The state Board of Pharmacy on Thursday took a step toward allowing pharmacists to refuse to dispense emergency contraceptives or other medication on moral grounds, provided they don't "obstruct" patients from getting that medication.

At the heart of the controversy is the emergency contraceptive pill, commonly called Plan B or morning-after pill, which some equate with abortion.

Some pharmacists called the newest proposal, which came after months of input from the public, a fair compromise on a sensitive topic. But women's-health advocates, including Planned Parenthood and the Northwest Women's Law Center, said the language was too vague to protect patients from discrimination. And Gov. Christine Gregoire immediately renewed her objections.

"I expect the board to develop rules that provide clear guidance and protection to the public," Gregoire said in a statement. "It is my hope that the board will develop rules that put patients first."

The proposal, which the pharmacy board approved unanimously for consideration, is slated for a public hearing Aug 31. Then the board will vote again, this time whether to adopt the rule.

Full story at:



LifePac Letter to State Pharmacy Board

March 29, 2006

WA State Board of Pharmacy

Steve Saxe, Co-Chair

Asaad Awan, Co-Chair

Department of Health

P.O. Box 47863

Olympia, WA 98504


Re: Pharmacists Right of Conscientious Objection in the Performance of Duties

Dear Members of the Board of Pharmacy,

Our political action committee, LifePac of SW Washington, is deeply concerned about the right of Washington pharmacists to exercise their moral conscience in the performance of professional duties. The current issue before you focuses on abortifacient "emergency contraception" drugs. The next dilemma may involve medications for assisted suicide or death penalty executions. And there are other situations where medical treatments in the coming years will be ethically contentious.

Looking at the matter historically, the right of religious freedom is written into the Constitution of the United States. For a customer to be refused a certain drug from a pharmacy or pharmacist may be a matter of inconvenience, but it is a violation of fundamental freedom and natural liberty for the pharmacist to be compelled to fill a prescription against his or her moral conscience.

Planned Parenthood and the NW Women's Law Center suggested what they call a "win-win" solution to this problem at the March 10th Board meeting in Kent, WA. That solution was, in essence:

- customer asks for drug

- customer gets drug from same facility, no matter what.

We propose instead:

- customer asks for drug

- if pharmacy or pharmacist objects, then

- customer receives contact information for 5 nearest pharmacies.

Planned Parenthood's advertising for the "Emergency Contraception" drug, now rolling on buses in Clark County, states "EC prevents pregnancy after sex. Take within 5 days." This five-day period of drug efficacy makes it hard to believe that a pharmacy or pharmacist refusal would constitute an "emergency" for the individual customer. He or she can go to another location (or to Planned Parenthood) if the initial one does not dispense. Pictures of these advertisements are posted online at

We ask for your careful consideration of this matter involving the right of moral freedom and conscience in the performance of professional duties by Washington pharmacists.

Thank you,


LifePac Board of Directors


cc:   Governor Christine Gregoire

        Office of the Governor

          Rod Shafer

         Washington State Pharmacy Association


Medical Professionals in Washington State Deserve the Right of Personal Conscience

By Rian Girard, President of Clark County Right to Life

March 2006

The Washington State Board of Pharmacy, is meeting March 10, 2006 in Kent, WA for its regular business meeting.  On the agenda is a presentation from Planned Parenthood, to persuade the Board to rescind the right of Washington pharmacists from practicing their right of moral conscientious objection to the dispensing of certain drug prescriptions.

Of course, for Planned Parenthood this issue centers on the dispensing of abortifacient birth control pills of different types.  Clearly, as lawmakers in different states are showing, there is a wide understanding, and no consensus, on when the human life of pre-born individuals should be recognized in law.  In particular, the pill regimen known as “Emergency Contraception” is designed to work in ways that can lead to the death of a pre-born human individual through depletion of the mother’s endometrial layer of the uterus.  Thus, the prescribing, dispensing and taking of Emergency Contraception pills is tantamount to intentionally causing the death of newly conceived human individual—the moral question being whether or not this human individual already has rights of its own. 

These issues are complex and are the basis of difficult choices for both consumers of medical services and medical professionals.  Do we require all doctors to perform surgical abortions?  No.  Do we require all nurses to carry out death penalty executions by injection?  No.  Neither should Washington pharmacists be forced to comply with scenarios that fall under similar moral principles, such as the dispensation of drugs for which the known purpose is to kill. 

 Please indicate your support of a pro-conscience position to the membership of the Board by contacting:

WA State Board of Pharmacy

c/o Steve Saxe and Asaad Awan

Department of Health

P.O. Box 47863

Olympia, WA  98504

CC: your letters to: 

Governor Christine Gregoire

Office of the Governor

P.O Box 40002

Olympia, WA  98504


Post Meeting Update

The pro-conscience clause showing at the March 10 State Pharmacy Board meeting was excellent. Over 100 people filled the room at the State Board of Health offices in Kent, WA and well over 80% appeared to be on the side of the pharmacists. Of the speakers who volunteered public comments, 2 sided with the Planned Parenthood on the issue and at least 12 supported the right to conscientious objection for pharmacists.

The pro-conscience clause speakers were a mix of pharmacists, medical doctors, pharmacy students, a representative from the Washington Catholic Bishops office, attorneys, homemakers and other pro-life activists.

Notice how Planned Parenthood markets "Emergency Contraception" on the back of buses in Vancouver, WA. If the drug works for "5 days after sex," then should a pharmacy or pharmacist refusal be such an emergency? Please continue to pray and send word to the Board and the Governor that pharmacists should not be compelled to go along with Planned Parenthood's false version of morality.




Should pharmacists be allowed to turn away prescriptions?

06:09 PM PST on Sunday, March 12, 2006

Associated Press

SEATTLE - The Washington State Board of Pharmacy is considering a proposal that would allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions like emergency contraception on moral, religious or ethical grounds.

Backers like Rod Shafer, executive director of the Washington State Pharmacy Association, argue that pharmacists should have the right to decline work that conflicts with their beliefs as long as they respect the patient ...

Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, has sent the pharmacy board a letter opposing the proposal. At a public hearing in Kent last Friday, most of the more than 100 people who showed up spoke out in favor of it.

Full story at: