This afternoon in Portland, OR the owners of Olympia based Ralph’s Thriftway will be in front of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals defending their right not to sell Plan B, a drug that causes early term abortions.
Ralph’s Thriftway has been embroiled in a legal mess with Washington State since 2007 after the state took the position that Plan B be sold by every pharmacy.
Their policy was to refer customers looking for Plan B to nearby pharmacies that carried it.
In 2012, a federal district court in Washington suspended the state’s regulations requiring them to sell Plan B. The court said the regulation existed “primarily (if not solely)” to ban religiously motivated referrals.
The court noted that while attempting to require Ralph’s Pharmacy to stock Plan B, they permit pharmacies to refrain from stocking and delivering drugs for “almost unlimited” business, economic, and convenience reasons.
Attorneys for the state were joined by attorney’s from Planned Parenthood in appealing the decision.
Organizations like Planned Parenthood have been working hard to leverage their political influence gained through political organization and campaign contributions to create state policies that prohibit people who do not share their enthusiasm for abortion from making a living on an equal playing field with those who do.
Their primary argument is that it is “discriminatory” for pharmacies not to sell abortion drugs. Of course that’s true in the sense that the pharmacy is making a choice not to sell something they disapprove of.
Taco Bell doesn’t sell hamburgers. Christian books stores don’t sell the Koran.
If you’re looking for an item that one particular store doesn’t sell, you’re free to go to another store. At least that’s how it used to be.
All choice (which abortion advocates once claimed to support) is discrimination.
For groups like Planned Parenthood, discrimination isn’t the real problem. After all, they discriminate against birth and mammograms.
They object to the fact that people still have the freedom to make choices that reflect moral disapproval of abortion. Which also explains why, for three years, they have been working hard to require every private insurance policy in Washington State to cover abortion.
So today, they’ll be partnering with the Washington State government doing their best to make sure that businesses and citizens in Washington State have fewer freedoms than they did yesterday.
Unless you’re one of the lawyers or one of the judges, there isn’t much you can do about this case.
But what you can do as a citizen is make sure you know how those you vote for feel about conscience rights. This case could be done away with immediately if Washington State passed legislation protecting the rights of businesses owners not to violate their conscience.
But for years, the majority in the state legislature has been either cheering or standing idly by while state agencies harass grandparents because of their beliefs about marriage or abortion.
We can do something about that.