News Rossi Supports Pharmacists’ Right to Refuse Patients
posted by November 15 at 8:52 AMon
In the wake of the federal court decision that suspended a state rule requiring pharmacists to dispense Plan B, I’ve been trying and trying to get GOP gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi to state his position on the issue.
Seattle Times reporter David Postman got the answer from Rossi today.
Here’s Rossi’s spokeswoman’s answer:
Rossi spokeswoman Jill Strait told me by e-mail:
Rossi supports the decision by Judge Leighton and believes that pharmacists should not be forced to do something that is against their conscience or religious beliefs.
In 2006, the state Pharmacy Board was prepared to adopt regulations, supported by the Washington State Pharmacy Association, that protected the right of conscience. Unfortunately, Gregoire refused to let the board do its job and interfered. She threatened the board to see things her way and they ultimately complied with her heavy-handed tactics.
The federal judge put the brakes on Gregoire’s strong-armed approach and protected the constitutional rights of pharmacy professionals following their consciences.
For Gov. Gregoire’s position, check out what she told me when I interviewed her last week:
I asked Gov. Gregoire for her reaction to yesterday’s District Court decision suspending state rules that direct all pharmacists to make Plan B (emergency contraception) available to women. Gregoire said she was “very disappointed” in the decision, and she’s looking at filing an appeal with the Attorney General. Asked why she was disappointed, she said, “A woman’s right to a lawful prescription should not be subject to the biases and prerogatives of a pharmacist.” She also stressed that the issue was broader than Plan B, saying, for example, that an AIDS victim shouldn’t be prevented from getting medication because the pharmacist might not “agree with [that person’s] lifestyle.”
Additionally, Postman’s got this official statement from Gregoire:
“This is about private medical decisions between patients and their physicians and pharmacies filling doctor prescribed medications. “While this court decision weakens protections for victims of sexual assault, and interferes with a women’s right to choose, it also allows any patient to be denied their medication for no apparent reason.
“Third parties should not come between doctors and patients in medical decisions. This is about the right of personal privacy and medical access.”