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Abstract

This Article will demonstrate that a pharmacist's refusal to fill a valid prescription for emergency contraception constitutes sex discrimination and violates the WLAD. Part I explains the nature and function of emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) as well as their role in basic health care for women and the importance of their accessibility. Part II addresses federal civil rights protections and the failure of these protections to provide relief for women facing refusals. Focusing on the WLAD, Part II also explains how state public accommodation statutes protect women from discrimination in places of public accommodation. It further sets forth the prima facie case of such a claim where a woman is refused access to emergency contraception. Part III presents arguments likely to be submitted by a pharmacist facing litigation under the WLAD. Finally, Part IV illustrates how Washington public policy supports women and the protection of reproductive freedom. The Article concludes with suggestions for judicial interpretation.