One day after the Supreme Court struck down abortion-clinic regulations in Texas, the justices now refuse to hear a case challenging a Washington state law mandating that pharmacies dispense abortion-inducing drugs, a move that one pro-life leader says is the latest efforts by liberals to criminalize opposition to their agenda.
On Tuesday, the court announced it would not hear an appeal in the case of Stormans Inc. v. Wiesman. A district court struck down the Washington regulations, but the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that ruling, and the law will now stand indefinitely as a result of the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case.
Stormans Inc. refers to the Christian family that operates Ralph’s Thriftway, a grocery store and pharmacy in the state capital of Olympia. The Stormans refuse to sell abortion-inducing drugs, commonly referred to as the morning-after pill or even some that are taken a longer time after possible conception. Reports say the Stormans are willing to refer customers to other pharmacies for the drugs, and there are dozens of other pharmacies within five miles of Ralph’s Thriftway.
Usually the court makes no comment in deciding whether to accept or reject cases. The five justices refusing the appeal made no statement, but Justice Samuel Alito released a blistering 15-page dissent. Justices Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts joined the dissent.
“If this is a sign of how our religious liberty claims will be treated in the years again, those who value religious liberty have cause for great concern,” wrote Alito.
Alito also suggested the Washington statute and the enforcement of it “reflect antipathy toward religious beliefs that do not accord with the views of those holding the levers of government power.”
Pro-life leaders in Washington agree.
“What this indicates is the ruling class, and the other members of the Supreme Court in particular, are willing to allow the conscience rights of Americans to be violated and obliterated when they don’t fit in with their particular political cup of tea,” said Americans United for Life Spokeswoman Kristi Hamrick.
She says enforcing this Washington state regulation in the face of exercise of conscience is much more severe than enforcing other laws.
“It’s not merely that they didn’t want to sell these drugs. They’re going to be forced to facilitate ending human life through the sale of these drugs. This has implications for medical personnel and nurses who do not want to perform abortions,” said Hamrick.
Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Kristi Hamrick:
Hamrick says Americans should not be distracted by the wording the media and abortion supporters use about these drugs. She says the result of taking them is well documented.
“It’s not just that they felt that these drugs end life. They do end life. It is medically accurate to say that these drugs work together to destroy potentially unborn human life. If a child has been conceived, this will end that child’s life. So it’s not speculation. It’s true,” said Hamrick.
Tuesday’s news follow’s Monday’s 5-3 ruling striking down abortion clinic regulations in Texas, including the requirement that abortion providers have admitting privileges at a local hospital and that clinics meet the same standards as outpatient surgical centers.
Hamrick says the court’s actions this week show liberals are in attack mode on abortion.
“What we are seeing is the abortion industry moving from choice to coercion. They are going to force you to end life and force you to pay for the ending of life,” said Hamrick.
“What they want now is full funding of abortion. It won’t be enough to make you do it. It won’t be enough to make you comply with it. It won’t be enough to have it in your health care. Now we are going to have to pay for it and provide it and export it. These are chilling days indeed,” said Hamrick.
And she says they won’t stop there.
“I suspect they’re going to reach into houses of worship directly. Up to this point, there has been a separation from attacks against actual houses of worship. (They’ll target) the Catholic Church head-on, maybe the Baptist Conference head-on. It is their desire to make it illegal for us to hold a different point of view,” said Hamrick.
“Up to this point, they’ve been dancing around the edges around the world of Christians and people of faith who are involved in charitable efforts and trying to make them pay (such as Little Sisters of the Poor). Or in the world of Christians like Hobby Lobby, who have a business but they happen to be Christians, such as these pharmacists. With this kind of momentum, I would expect them to go after houses of worship directly,” said Hamrick.