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.