Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"A Conscience Thing"

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Both former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the Stormans family of Olympia are dealing with an issue of conscience. Their views stand in stark contrast.

Pelosi recently told the Washington Post, "I'm a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it...but they have this 'conscience thing,'" that puts women at risk.

Her comments hardly evoke the idea of "honor" or "love" for her church or faith.

In stark contrast, the Stormans family of Olympia, who are not Catholic, also honor their faith and have consistently acted on their conscience over the past several years, refusing to sell Plan B "morning after" or abortion pills in their pharmacies in the area---at great personal expense.

They are back in court this week, defending their right to conscience. In their case "the conscience thing" is a part of their deeply held pro-life belief.

Dan Kennedy at Washington Right to Life sent me the following information: I would strongly recommend you remember the Stormans in prayer and shop in their stores as much as possible.

Subject: Pharmacist Conscience trial in Tacoma starts TODAY

Sent: 11/28/2011 9:10:37 A.M. Pacific Standard Time
Subj: Pharmacist Conscience trial in Tacoma starts TODAY

Sent: 11/28/2011 8:39:19 A.M. Pacific Standard Time
Subj: Prayer Request/pharmacist Conscience trial starts TODAY

See details and brief background below and trial details and please pray for:

* Clarity, efficiency, wisdom, and stamina for the attorneys defending the right of conscience
* Protection for those attorneys, the plaintiffs (pharmacists and pharmacy owners) and their families
* That those attorneys and plaintiffs would be wise as serpents and innocent as doves
* That the Lord would confound the opposing side
* Favor with Judge Ron Leighton, and that he will rule in favor of the plaintiffs
* For the Lord to reveal Himself and His truth to the other side in court; for their salvation, and that they will recognize that life, created in God's image, is at stake here
* That the Lord would be glorified in the outcome

Thank you so much for your prayer support.

Background: In ~2006, the Governor of Washington, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and Northwest Women's Law Center (now Legal Voice) demanded that the Washington Board of Pharmacy pass regulations forcing pharmacists and pharmacy owners to violate their conscience and dispense Plan B, the morning after pill (which has the potential to prevent implantation of an embryo, thus terminating life in its earliest form). Their demands were a part of a national agenda by pro-abortion groups to eliminate conscience rights protections for these health care professionals and to force private businesses to sell early abortifacients such as Plan B and Ella.

Although the Board initially voted to pass a regulation supporting conscience rights, it abruptly reversed its position when the Governor threatened the Board. In 2007, the Board passed the final regulations that require pharmacists and pharmacy owners to dispense drugs like Plan B and Ella regardless of a pharmacist's religious objection. They prohibit providers from referring patients to nearby providers when the providers have a conscientious objection, but in practice allow providers to refer patients for business and secular reasons.

After the Board's ruling in 2007, two Christian pharmacists and a Christian pharmacy owner sued the Washington Board of Pharmacy for violating their constitutional right of conscience and free exercise of religion. After numerous delays, the trial for this lawsuit is finally scheduled to begin Monday, November 28th, at the Federal Courthouse in Tacoma, WA, and will probably end December 22nd.

The outcome of this lawsuit will not only affect religious conscience rights of pharmacists, pharmacy owners and health care professionals, but has the potential to affect anyone in our state who chooses to exercise his/her constitutionally protected right of religious conscience.

Many of you have likely followed this situation and participated in some of the multiple public hearings, church petitions, letter-writing to the Board of Pharmacy, Governor Gregoire, and newspapers, commented on soundoffs and message boards, etc. Maybe you even wondered whatever became of the case, years after the initial assault began at the level of the BOP. Please, please pray for a good trial and outcome as requested above and also consider attending one or more days or half-days of the trial in order to give moral support and see how the system works. (It should be quite interesting if the prior Oral Arguments are any indication.) This might be a valuable experience for teens and perhaps older pre-teens too.

Dates: Mon. - Thurs. Nov. 28 - Dec. 1
Thurs. - Fri. Dec. 8 - 9
Mon. - Thurs. Dec. 19 - 22*
*(Trial could theoretically take less than the allotted 10 days though that seems unlikely.)

Time: 9:30 - Noon and 1:30 - 4:30 [May need to arrive early to assure seating availability inside the courtroom, in addition to first allowing time to find parking and then pass through airport-style security.]

Location: US Federal Courthouse at 1717 Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma (old railway station building on north side of the street, a bit west of U-W Tacoma.) Using case name (Stormans vs Selecky) or judge name (Hon. Ronald Leighton), you will be able to obtain room information from security upon your arrival.

Dress: Dress pants and shirt/sweater for men, (suit/tie optional); comparable for women; no t-shirts/sweatshirts/jeans please; no sidearms (federal courthouse).

Please forward to others who may be interested in praying re: very important case.

Thank you for your support.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.