TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A federal judge says Washington state may not require pharmacies to sell Plan B or other emergency contraceptives in the face of religious objections by druggists.
U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton in Tacoma issued his decision Wednesday. He said the state’s real goal in adopting its rule was not to promote timely access to Plan B and other medicine, but to infringe on the religious freedom of pharmacists who believe that life begins at conception.
Washington’s rule requires pharmacies to sell any drug that’s in demand, with some exceptions for business reasons. The judge said that if the state allows exceptions for non-religious reasons, it must allow religious or moral exceptions as well.
The plaintiffs in the case say few if any other states have rules similar to Washington’s.