Newsbreak

Christian pharmacy could close down over morning-after pill mandate

Stormans, Inc., a small pharmacy in Washington owned by a devout Christian family, is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court in a legal battle over abortifacient drugs that could force them out of business.

In 2007, the state enacted a law requiring pharmacists to provide emergency contraceptives such as the morning after pill. In response, Stormans has joined with two other pharmacists in danger of losing their jobs over the mandate in a lawsuit alleging that the law violates their religious freedom and conscience rights.

In an interview with the Daily Caller, Becket Fund for Religious liberty deputy general counsel Luke Goodrich argued that the law singles out Christians for discrimination: “It’s perfectly legal for a pharmacy to say we’re not going to stock the week after pill because we think its unprofitable or we want to specialize in geriatric drugs and don’t want to stock that drug or even if you run out, that’s fine too, but if you don’t have the drug because your religion forbids you that is illegal.”

Goodrich further noted there were more than thirty pharmacies within five miles of Stormans which stocked the morning after pill, meaning area women’s access to the drug was not harmed by the Christian druggists choosing not to offer it. He argued that the situation arose not because any woman was inconvenienced, but because Planned Parenthood sent people looking for pharmacies all over the state they could sue.

A federal appeals court judge ruled against the plaintiffs last July, but they are appealing the case to the Supreme Court, which is expected to decide in April whether it will hear the case.

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