October 9, 2012
Illinois Pharmacists Not Required To Sell Emergency Contraceptives, Court Says
Pharmacists can exercise religious beliefs in accordance with Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act.
After seven years of litigation, two Illinois pharmacists who object on religious grounds to filling prescriptions for emergency contraceptives have had their objections upheld by a state appellate court.
The court did narrow a lower court's injunction, which had blocked former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's original requirement to provide emergency contraceptives altogether; now, only pharmacists who claim a religious exemption are allowed to deny Plan B to customers.
In 2005, an executive order from Blagojevich mandated pharmacists to dispense contraceptives, including the Plan B drug, which can prevent pregnancy. However, pharmacists Luke Vander Bleek and Glenn Kosirog argued that the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act protected them from violating their religious beliefs in dispensing 'morning-after' drugs.
CT has previously reported on conscience clashes over states' rights to dispense emergency contraceptives. CT also noted the court's original injunction against the mandate in 2007 and covered Kosirog and Vander Bleek's case in 2009.