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‘Plan B’ rule to be maintained

OLYMPIA – Washington’s Board of Pharmacy voted Thursday to not move forward with changing a rule that prohibits pharmacies from refusing to dispense all legal drugs, including the morning-after contraceptive “Plan B.”

On a 5-1 vote the board stopped the rulemaking process it had started in August that could have led to allowing pharmacists to refer patients to another pharmacy for “time-sensitive” medication, including Plan B and other drugs.

Gov. Chris Gregoire issued a statement Thursday night calling it a “good decision.”

Plan B is a contraceptive that can greatly reduce the chances of pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.

Some pharmacists and drugstore owners, however, say they can’t sell the pills in good conscience because they consider Plan B’s effect on potential pregnancies too similar to abortion.

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