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Conscience should prevail

As a pharmacist, I testified at the Board of Pharmacy rule-making hearing this past September in Kent, Wash. Whether they dispensed Plan B or not, every pharmacist testified in favor of conscience. Likewise in 2006, the Board of Pharmacy wrote draft rules that protected the rights of conscience.

Under pressure by Gov. Gregoire, Planned Parenthood and the like, the board finalized an unconstitutional rule in 2007. It specifically targets pharmacists who refuse to dispense prescriptions for moral or religious reasons, while allowing pharmacist refusal for secular or business reasons.

The board was subsequently sued by pharmacists protecting their civil rights. The state of Washington has spent roughly half a million dollars of taxpayer money defending this rule in court. Why? There is not a single documented case of a woman who did not receive Plan B in a timely manner due to a pharmacist’s conscientious refusal.

Access is not the issue. It began with Planned Parenthood and other abortion rights groups targeting pharmacists.

Pharmacists are not robots blindly following orders. I fear for the people of Washington if the only pharmacists who are allowed to practice pharmacy are those who have no qualms about facilitating the taking of innocent human life.

Jodi Wagner, RPh



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