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Humanists Applaud 9th Circuit Court's Plan B Decision

For Immediate Release

(Washington, D.C., July 9, 2009) The American Humanist Association today applauded a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that moves Washington state a step closer to ensuring women's access to emergency contraceptives. In the case, Stormans, Inc v. Selecky, the appellate court determined that a lower district court should not have prohibited Washington state from enforcing a regulation requiring pharmacies to sell "Plan B" pills.

"This is a good day for reproductive rights in Washington state," said Karen Frantz, communications and policy manager of the American Humanist Association. "The 9th Circuit Court's ruling will help protect women's right to reproductive health care from attempts by the religious right to push their morality onto others."

The American Humanist Association had signed on to a friend of the court brief, authored by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which asked the 9th Circuit Court to overturn the district court's decision.

In 2007 the Washington State Board of Pharmacy established a new rule that required pharmacies to deliver lawfully prescribed drugs and devices approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a timely manner-including Plan B. The rule allowed pharmacies to substitute or decline to fill a prescription on the basis of practical concerns, such as lack of supply, but did not allow refusal of a prescription on moral grounds.

A district court issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting state officials from enforcing the new rule, but yesterday's appellate court decision reversed the injunction and the case was remanded back to the district court. The appellate court suggested that the regulations were constitutional, that they did not impinge on the religious rights of pharmacists, and that they were in the best interests of the patients.

The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org ) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 100 local chapters and affiliates across the United States.

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.

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For more information contact:

Karen Frantz, Communications and Policy Manager
American Humanist Association
kfrantz@americanhumanist.org

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