SEATTLE — Stormans, the owners of Ralph's Thriftway in Olympia and Seattle, sued the state of Washington last week over the emergency contraceptive, Plan B, manufactured by Barr Pharmaceuticals, Woodcliff Lake, N.J. The state ruled earlier this year that pharmacy workers who are morally opposed emergency contraceptives cannot stand in the way of a patient's right to the drugs. The supermarket/pharmacy owner and two pharmacists said the rule, which took effect last week, violates their civil rights by forcing them into "choosing between their livelihoods and their deeply held religious and moral beliefs." Under the new state rule, pharmacists with personal objections to a drug can ask a co-worker to assist the customer but that applies only if the patient is able to get the item in the same pharmacy visit. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Rockville Md., made the morning-after pill available over the counter to adults last year.
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