As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

No Right To Keep A Job You Don't Want To Perform

A federal appeals court ruled that pharmacists cannot refuse to dispense the Plan B "morning after pill" regardless of their religious beliefs:

Family-owned Ralph's Thriftway and two pharmacists employed elsewhere sued Washington state officials over the requirement. The plaintiffs asserted that their Christian beliefs prevented them from dispensing the pills, which can prevent implantation of a recently fertilized egg. They said that the new regulations would force them to choose between keeping their jobs and heeding their religious objections to a medication they regard as a form of abortion.

Ralph's owners, Stormans Inc., and pharmacists Rhonda Mesler and Margo Thelen sought protection under the 1st Amendment right to free exercise of religion and won a temporary injunction from the U.S. District Court in Seattle pending trial on the constitutionality of the regulations. That order prevented state officials from penalizing pharmacists who refused to dispense Plan B as long as they referred consumers to a nearby pharmacy where it was available.

On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the injunction, saying the district court was wrong in issuing it based on an erroneous finding that the rules violated the free exercise of religion clause of the U.S. Constitution.

My freedom ends when I violate yours, essentially. If pharmacists don't want to distribute legal drugs to their patients, and cannot provide them with any recourse to obtain those drugs, they can find other work. I think the cost of denying legal medical treatment to women supersedes pharmacists' discomfort.

Two Bush 43-appointed conservatives and one Clinton appointee made this ruling, by the way.

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