Olympia, Wash., Jul 8, 2010 / 18:20 pm
In a major reversal of their previous position, attorneys for the state of Washington have acknowledged the right of local pharmacies not to stock or dispense the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B.
On July 7, the state's attorneys told a federal judge that the Washington State Board of Pharmacy would begin revising its rules, to allow pharmacies to act on their conscientious objections to the controversial drug.
The state attorneys' new position may signal an end to a legal battle between the State Board of Pharmacy and owners of the local drugstore Ralph's Thriftway.
In 2006, the board initially granted all pharmacies the right not to stock or prescribe medications to which they objected on religious or moral grounds. However, the board later changed these rules after publicly coming under fire from Washington's governor, Christine Gregoire.