Friday, July 01, 2016

Court lows

Safe, legal and rare
I'm not sure when or where the terminology originated, but under President Bill Clinton "safe, legal and rare" became a cry of the pro-abortion forces. The current president embraces this formula, and the Democratic presidential candidate supports it as well. But isn't this really just a hollow rallying cry? When the state of Texas passed an abortion law that kept abortion legal, while making it safer and rare, offended abortion proponents fought it all the way to the Supreme Court -- and won. Both pro-life and pro-abortion forces need not fool themselves. True proponents of abortion really do not care whether it is rare.

In his dissent in this case, Justice Clarence Thomas writes, "The Court has simultaneously transformed judicially created rights like the right to abortion into preferred constitutional rights, while disfavoring many of the rights actually enumerated in the Constitution."

To Sell or Not to Sell
On Tuesday the 28th the Supreme Court refused to hear Stormans v. Wiesman, a religious liberty case. In doing so they let stand the U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit ruling against the liberty to not sell pharmaceuticals that violated one's religious convictions.

The case circles around the pharmacy at Ralph’s Thriftway in Olympia, Washington. The religious beliefs of the owners includes that life begins at conception and, therefore, they believe preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg is equal to abortion (ending human life). In consequence of those beliefs Ralph’s pharmacy does not stock or sell so-called "emergency contraceptives" that inhibit implantation of a fertilized egg. Facts in the case showed that those kinds of drugs were stocked by over 30 pharmacies within five miles or less of Ralph’s Thriftway store. Nevertheless, the Washington State Board of Pharmacy ruled that a pharmacy may not "refuse to deliver a drug or device to a patient because its owner objects to delivery on religious, moral, or other personal grounds."[1] A District Court determined that very design of the State Board regulations discriminated against religious objectors, but that was overturned by the Appeals Court.

In dissenting in [not hearing] this case, Justice Alito captured the pure hypocrisy of the State Board, noting "Washington would rather have no pharmacy than one that doesn’t toe the line on abortifacient emergency contraceptives." The Board clearly understood that "some pharmacy owners might 'close rather than dispense medications that conflicts with their beliefs'."

Alito declared, "This case is an ominous sign. At issue are Washington State regulations that are likely to make a pharmacist unemployable if he or she objects on religious grounds to dispensing certain prescription medications. There are strong reasons to doubt whether the regulations were adopted for—or that they actually serve—any legitimate purpose. And there is much evidence that the impetus for the adoption of the regulations was hostility to pharmacists whose religious beliefs regarding abortion and contraception are out of step with prevailing opinion in the State. Yet the Ninth Circuit held that the regulations do not violate the First Amendment, and this Court does not deem the case worthy of our time. 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." [emphasis mine, rlv]

[1] Even though "facilitated referrals" are common practice in the pharmaceutical business.

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