The three 9th Circuit judges found common ground despite differing outlooks: Two conservatives named to the court by President George W. Bush and a liberal named by President Clinton made up the panel.
The right to freely exercise one's religion "does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a valid and neutral law of general applicability," the 9th Circuit panel wrote.
"Any refusal to dispense — regardless of whether it is motivated by religion, morals, conscience, ethics, discriminatory prejudices, or personal distaste for a patient — violates the rules," the panel said.
This is a great but fragile victory for women's rights. If you're a pharmacist and you don't want to dispense legal medications because of your religious beliefs, QUIT YOUR JOB and get one that doesn't require you to be a compassionate, non-judgmental person.
Allowing pharmacists to be religious bigots at work over Plan B could have lead to pharmacists refusing to dispense any other number of meds not even related to birth control. Anyone needing anything from psychiatric meds to insulin could have eventually found themselves in a position of not being able to get their prescriptions filled because of religious bigots refusing to do the job they signed on for.
Human rights win! I'm praying that it holds.