Amicus Curiae Brief: Stormans, Inc. v. Selecky

36 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2014

See all articles by Sara Ainsworth

Sara Ainsworth

National Advocates for Pregnant Women

Date Written: 2013


Women and girls in the United States are at high risk of experiencing sexual assault and violence perpetrated by an intimate. Preventing pregnancy after such an assault is, in most cases, critical to a woman’s psychological recovery and physical health. Emergency contraception works effectively after an assault to prevent pregnancy, and is the medical standard of care for treating women and girls of reproductive age after a sexual assault. Yet access to that contraception can be restricted when pharmacists refuse to fill prescriptions on religious grounds.

Ruling for two pharmacists and a pharmacy who objected to dispensing emergency contraception, a federal district judge found unconstitutional a Washington State Board of Pharmacy rule that requires pharmacies to fill all lawful prescriptions on site and in a timely manner. Stormans, Inc. v. Selecky, 844 F. Supp. 2d 1172 (W.D. Wash. 2012).

This amicus curiae brief was submitted on behalf of organizations and experts in domestic and sexual violence, in an appeal of that ruling, Stormans v. Selecky, No. 12-35223, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit has deferred oral argument, pending the Supreme Court's decision in Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, No. 13-356. (That case has been consolidated with Sibelius v. Hobby Lobby, Inc., No. 13-354.)

Earlier rulings in Stormans, Inc. v. Selecky: 524 F. Supp. 2d 1245 (W.D.Wash. 2007), vacated, 526 F. 3d 406 (9th Cir. 2008), vacated, 571 F. 3d 960 (9th Cir. 2009), vacated and superseded on reh’g, 586 F. 3d 1109 (9th Cir. 2009).

Keywords: contraception, emergency contraception, contraceptives, reproductive rights, reproductive justice, pregnancy, Plan B, religion, conscience clause, pharmacists, health care, sexual assault, rape

Suggested Citation

Ainsworth, Sara, Amicus Curiae Brief: Stormans, Inc. v. Selecky (2013). Hastings Women's Law Journal, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 303-37, Summer 2013, Available at SSRN:

Sara Ainsworth (Contact Author)

National Advocates for Pregnant Women ( email )

15 West 36th St
Suite 901
New York, NY 10018-7910
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics