Neutral Pharmacy Rules Upheld Over Religious Objections

In a religious freedom decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the state of Washington’s rules requiring the timely delivery of prescription medication over two pharmacists religious objections. The pharmacists objected to delivering emergency contraceptives on the grounds of religious freedom.

The issue presented is whether a pharmacist must timely delivery emergency contraceptives when the state’s rules for pharmacies are neutral and generally applicable. The federal appellate court upheld the state’s pharmacy rules because “the rules are neutral and generally applicable and that the rules rationally further the State‚Äôs interest in patient safety.”1

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