Plan B

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state cannot force pharmacies to sell Plan B or other emergency contraceptives, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying the state's true goal was to suppress religious objections by druggists — not to promote timely access to the medicines for people who need them.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton heard closing arguments earlier this month in a lawsuit that claimed state rules violate the constitutional rights of pharmacists by requiring them to dispense such medicine.

TACOMA, Wash. — A federal judge plans to rule on whether Washington state can require pharmacies to stock and sell Plan B or other emergency contraceptives.

Washington requires pharmacies to sell any drug that's in demand. Plan B can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after sex and is available without a prescription to anyone over 17.

Ralph's Thriftway in Olympia and two licensed pharmacists sued in 2007, saying that dispensing Plan B would infringe on their religious beliefs because it can prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg.

TACOMA, Wash. — A federal judge plans to rule on whether Washington state can require pharmacies to stock and sell Plan B or other emergency contraceptives.

Washington requires pharmacies to sell any drug that's in demand. Plan B can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after sex and is available without a prescription to anyone over 17.

AP

Washington's Board of Pharmacy has decided to not change a rule that prohibits pharmacies from refusing to dispense all legal drugs, including the morning-after contraceptive "Plan B."