By Judie Brown
Perhaps amidst all the kerfuffle created by Monday’s Supreme Court decision on abortion regulations in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, many failed to notice the draconian decision the Court handed down the following day.
Tuesday’s decision in Stormans Inc. v. Wiesman trampled on the religious freedom of any Christian pharmacist who refuses to fill prescriptions or carry abortive drugs like the morning after pill. We’ll explain the Court’s decision after a bit of background.
The Stormans family has a rich history in the pharmacy business in the state of Washington. It has operated Ralph’s Thriftway for four generations. In 2007, Washington enacted a rule “requiring pharmacies to dispense Plan B and Ella and making conscience-based referrals illegal.” Yet, “pharmacies [are] permitted to continue daily referrals for all kinds of other reasons.” The Stormans found their conscience rights at odds with this untenable regulation and went to court. They filed a lawsuit that included two additional pharmacists who concurred in the position that the rule was an egregious violation of conscience rights on questions of birth control chemicals that are known to abort preborn babies.
Greg Stormans, a plaintiff in the case, wrote:
It’s worth noting, however, that beyond the constitutional arguments, the Washington law is unnecessary. The state has argued that our religious convictions will prevent people from getting the medication they need. That’s simply not true. Thirty pharmacies within a five-mile radius of our pharmacy in Ralph’s Thriftway sell Plan B and Ella. The state continues to allow referrals for every other reason. The only referrals they’ve banned are ones based on conscience.
A lower court ruled in favor of Stormans’ argument that the state rule violated the freedom of conscience, but “the state appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. In 2015, the 9th Circuit ruled against the Stormans and the two pharmacists, upholding the regulations that force pharmacists to dispense drugs contrary to their conscience, resulting in Washington being the only state in the country to make conscience referrals illegal.”
That’s how the case wound up at the U. S. Supreme Court where, on Tuesday of this week, five of the eight sitting justices ruled that they would not hear the case, thus allowing the 9th Circuit decision to stand.
Does the term godless arrogance resonate yet? It should.
In his dissent to this decision, Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito said, “This case is an ominous sign. . . . 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.”
It is quite clear that, between the Monday and Tuesday decisions, we have a whole lot of rethinking to do because there are five members of the Supreme Court who have positioned themselves as the new American deities.
As Rod Dreher so eloquently said, “It is interesting to think about the Stormans in relation to Pfizer and other drug manufacturers, who refuse to provide drugs they manufacture to states for use in capital punishment. . . . If you believe that the government has a right to force pharmacists to sell Plan B to a customer, despite strong conscience objections, then you must agree that Pfizer et alia must violate their consciences and sell drugs intended to kill convicted prisoners.”
Indeed! But what Dreher fails to notice is that, to these sinister self-identified deities who are justices of the Court, abortion is their sacrament and they will go to any extent possible to protect it.
Take heed! Remember these wise words of St. Paul: “Put on the full armor of God so as to be able to resist the devil's tactics. For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the principalities and the ruling forces who are masters of the darkness in this world, the spirits of evil in the heavens.”
Pray and educate yourselves and your family. We cannot sit by and allow our religious freedoms to be repeatedly stripped away.
Combat the evil with truth! Join American Life League in defiance of the culture of our day—this culture of death. Through your actions and words, become a part of our movement to build a culture of life. Pray, be informed, and educate others.
For pro-life information, go to all.org.
For pro-life educational tools, visit cultureoflifestudies.com.
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