Submitted by ACLU of Oregon on February 17, 2016 - 5:09pm
By Leah Rutman, ACLU-WA Policy Counsel
There continues to be a lack of clarity as to whether the health clinics to be opened in Washington and Oregon through a collaboration of Walgreens and Providence Health & Services will be bound by religious doctrine. The ACLU is pleased to have received assurances from Walgreens that its pharmacies will continue to provide services free of religious restrictions. But we are disappointed that we have not received similar assurances regarding the soon-to-open clinics.
On December 14, the ACLU of Washington, the ACLU of Oregon and 17 other public interest organizations that advocate for patients’ rights and comprehensive health care access sent a letter to Walgreens requesting information about its strategic collaboration for the opening of up to 25 clinics in Washington and Oregon with Providence Health & Services, a Catholic health care provider. Walgreens is the nation’s largest drug store chain.
The organizations sought to learn whether religious doctrine will limit access to important medical services, information, and referrals at the clinics, and will limit Walgreens pharmacies’ ability to fill prescriptions.