Conservatives are furious after the Supreme Court refused to take up a case involving family-owned pharmacies wanting to refuse contraceptives to women for religious reasons.
In July 2015, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that pharmacies must obey a regulation in Washington state requiring prompt service and speedy delivery of any medicine or products women need, even if pharmacy owners or employees object because they supposedly have a “sincerely held religious belief.”
Ralph’s Thriftway in Olympia is owned by the Storman family, who brought the lawsuit in order to opt out of following the law because they don’t believe in providing emergency contraception to women, even if women become pregnant through rape.
Louise Melling of the ACLU applauded the high court’s decision to leave the 9th Circuit’s ruling in place. “When a woman walks into a pharmacy, she should not fear being turned away because of the religious beliefs of the owner or the person behind the counter,” she said.
But Justice Samuel Alito is super pissed about the Court not hearing the case and whined in his dissent, joined by Justices John Roberts and Clarence Thomas, that the decision is an assault on religious liberty.
If this is a sign of how religious liberty claims will be treated in the years ahead, those who value religious freedom have cause for great concern…The dilemma this creates for the Stormans family and others like them is plain: Violate your sincerely held religious beliefs or get out of the pharmacy business.”
And you know what? Good!
No pharmacist should have the option of denying medicine to anyone, especially if the medicine is legal or is prescribed by a doctor.
If the Stormans want to worship God they can do so in church or at their home. Religious freedom does not give Christians the right to violate the rights of others. Period.
For too long, conservatives have been abusing religious freedom as a sick and twisted loophole to use to discriminate against women, gay people, and non-Christians. Not only do conservatives play the “sincerely held religious belief” card to justify denying services, they use it to justify firing employees if they are gay or use birth control. It’s insane and is harmful to society as a whole. Nobody should be able to legally use their religion to exercise their hatred of something or someone. But if conservative judges like Alito, Roberts, and Thomas had their way that’s exactly what so-called “Christians” would be able to do.
The Washington state law applied to all pharmacists in the state no matter what their religious affiliation may be. Therefore, it does not target any one religious group. Plus it doesn’t force a religious pharmacy owner to personally give contraceptives to women. If they object all they have to do is get an employee to do it instead. The only thing they can’t do is outright deny the woman what she needs. In other words, the case brought by the Stormans is bullshit and the majority of the Supreme Court knew it which is why they rightfully rejected the case. Hopefully, this will set a precedent that ends these frivolous lawsuits once and for all.
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