Letters to the Editor

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PLAN B: Why sell it behind the counter?

Letter by Megan Lindholm, Tacoma on March 22, 2012 at 11:30 am with 6 Comments »
March 22, 2012 1:33 pm

Our state is appealing the federal court ruling that pharmacists are not required to dispense Plan B (TNT, 3-22).

The ruling pointed out that we allow pharmacies to employ discretion when they refuse to stock medications such as Oxycodone, for fear of inciting more robberies. Therefore, to force a pharmacy to stock/ dispense a drug that violates the pharmacist’s religious beliefs is a form of discrimination. I agree.

If the ruling is reversed, where do we stop? Does a pharmacy closed on the Sabbath or a religious holiday block my access to a drug? Must all pharmacies stay open 24 hours a day, all year? If a pharmacy is sold out, have they violated my rights? Can I sue?

Plan B claims to be a safe over-the-counter medication available to any adult. Plan B does not require the approval of a doctor or a pharmacist. Why is it only behind the pharmacy counter? Why not put it in stores with the other freely displayed over-the-counter items that can be sold only to adults? Alcohol and tobacco, despite proven detrimental effects, have been sold that way for years.

We needn’t force people to violate their consciences. We could easily preserve everyone’s religious freedom and save our taxpayers the expense of a legal appeal.

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. LornaDoone says:

    Megan, since you seem to be in the mood for definitions, how would you define a pharmacist whose religious beliefs allow him/her to sell contraception, but when it is packed as “Plan B”, religion wins?

    I’d define that has “hypocritical”.

    If my conscience doesn’t allow me to pay taxes, am I off the hook?

  2. alindasue says:


    I think you are dishing out a bit of hyperbole here. There is a huge difference between a merchant (and pharmacists are merchants) choosing not to sell a product (whatever his reason) and outright refusing to pay taxes.

    I do, like the letter writer, find myself wondering if Plan B is available without a prescription, why can’t it be sold with the other age restricted products at any store that chooses to carry it? Why does it have to be sold only at pharmacy counters?

  3. LornaDoone says:

    alindasue – where does “religion” stop?

    We have a religion who could step aside and allow employees to purchase their own insurance, instead of being the broker, but they don’t and then play the “religion” card saying that to broker insurance for a certain Rx is against their religion.

    Nothing hyperbolic about that. It’s a real life situation.

    I’m just proposing a different set of beliefs. My belief is that my taxes are paying for war and I don’t believe in war.

    Where does it stop?

  4. alindasue says:

    LornaDoone said, “Where does it stop?”

    Would it make me too much of a “communist-Marxist-socialist” if I said with a national health care plan that took the responsibility off of (and dependence on) employer provided health insurance? Where citizens had a choice of “group” health care plans that could follow them even through job changes and layoffs?

    I suppose it would, since it sounds too much like the “Obamacare” plan before it was compromised to death.

  5. concernedtacoma7 says:

    You talking about the multi-trillion dollar economy killing Obamacare? What compromise? They rammed it through against the will of the people in the middle of the recession. They used every trick in the book to get it passed, adding trillions to our debt and making Americans more dependant on govt.

  6. Concerned said “You talking about the multi-trillion dollar economy killing Obamacare?”

    Why should she talk about something that doesn’t exist?

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