Feb 23, 2012 / 04:07 am
The state of Washington cannot force pharmacists and stores to dispense the “morning-after pill” against their religious objections, a federal judge has ruled.
“Today’s decision sends a very clear message: No individual can be forced out of her profession solely because of her religious beliefs,” said Luke Goodrich, deputy national litigation director at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, in his reaction to the Feb. 22 judgment.
The fund worked with Seattle's law firm Ellis, Li and McKinstry, in successfully suing Mary Selecky, Secretary of the Washington State Department of Health and Human Services, over a 2007 rule that required pharmacists to provide emergency contraception.
“The Board of Pharmacy’s 2007 rules are not neutral, and they are not generally applicable,” wrote U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton in his ruling, explaining his grounds for dismissing them as unconstitutional.