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Injunction against Washington emergency contraception law upheld

[JURIST] The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday dismissed [opinion, PDF] an appeal of an injunction [PDF text; JURIST report] suspending a Washington state law that would require pharmacists to dispense Plan B emergency contraceptives [product backgrounder; JURIST news archive], the so-called "morning after" pill. US District Judge Ronald Leighton's injunction effectively creates a "refuse and refer" system, allowing disapproving pharmacists to refuse to sell the pill if they refer the customer to another nearby source. Critics say that the system could harmfully delay women's access to the contraceptive, which must be taken with 72 hours of intercourse to be effective. Reuters has more.

A similar compromise was proposed in a settlement in Illinois [JURIST report] after pharmacists sued the state in 2005 after Governor Rod Blagojevich passed a rule [press release] requiring all pharmacists to dispense the pill despite any moral objections to it they might have.


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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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