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Washington Pharmacists Fight for Religious Rights

01-05-2016
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A group of pharmacists in Washington state is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to protect their religious rights.

They're fighting a ruling that lets the state force them to dispense drugs that may cause abortions, even though that violates their conscience.

Last summer a panel of judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a federal ruling that found the state's rules violated the religious freedom of pharmacy owners.

The group, including a Ralph's Thriftway Pharmacy in Olympia and two other pharmacists, says requiring them to dispense the Plan B drug infringes on their religious beliefs and is equivalent to involving them in abortion.

Their attorney says emergency contraceptives are available at other nearby pharmacies.

Many pro-lifers consider Plan B an abortion drug because it can prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus.

Pharmacists in other states, like Louisiana and Illinois, have also fought similar battles opposing abortifacient drugs in defense of their conscience rights.

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