By: Katie Heller
Washington’s Pharmacy Commission is attempting to thwart pharmacists from making conscience-based referrals when their deeply held religious convictions prevent them from selling a certain drug—an ethical practice that is accepted across the pharmacy profession and allowed in 49 other states.
For the last 10 years, the Stormans family, who has owned a grocery and local pharmacy for 70 years, and two other pharmacists, have challenged this extreme law that would force them to sell and dispense abortion-inducing drugs, like Plan B and ella. The Stormans believe life begins at fertilization, and this belief dictates how they operate their pharmacy and serve their customers. The Washington law would require them to dispense the drugs and violate their conscience and deeply held religious beliefs.
In a recent post at National Review, Greg Stormans, vice president of Stormans, Inc., explained why the Supreme Court should take up their case. In speaking about why they do not stock certain drugs, Greg said:
“We don’t stock a number of drugs — including Plan B and ella — because our customers generally don’t request them. But we don’t stock these two drugs for an additional reason: Both can cause early-stage abortion. Selling them would violate our religious beliefs and our commitment to helping all people, even the unborn.”
The state’s main argument for this extreme and unnecessary law is that women wouldn’t have access to the drugs if pharmacists were allowed to refer them elsewhere because of religious reasons. But Greg explains that the numbers actually tell the truth about access:
“The state has argued that our religious convictions will prevent people from getting the medication they need. That’s simply not true. Thirty-three pharmacies within a five-mile radius of our pharmacy in Ralph’s Thriftway sell Plan B. The state continues to allow referrals for every other reason. The only referrals they’ve banned are ones based on conscience.”
The Numbers Say It All
The attack on the Stormans and other pharmacists clearly isn’t just about access to abortion-inducing drugs. It’s about stamping out opposition to an ideology that says nothing, not even constitutional freedoms, should stand in the way of access to abortion. Share the infographic on your social media accounts, and please keep the Stormans family and their legal team in your prayers as we wait to hear if the U.S. Supreme Court will take their case.
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