Illinois Gov. Sued Over Discrimination Against Pro-Life Pharmacists

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 13, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Gov. Sued Over Discrimination Against Pro-Life Pharmacists Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 13
, 2005

Springfield, IL ( — Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich now faces a lawsuit over his executive order requiring pharmacists in the state to fill all legal prescriptions for any drugs — including birth control or morning after pills that some pharmacists believe cause abortions.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a pro-life law firm, filed suit in state court on behalf of two pharmacists who say dispensing such drugs violates their moral beliefs. They contend they should not be required to participate in the abortions the drugs may cause or to contribute to a customer’s sexual activity.

The ACLJ lawsuit says the Governor’s order is unenforceable and lawsuit urges the court to overturn it.

The lawsuit also points to the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act, which allows Illinois health care providers to not participate in medical services about which they have a moral objection.

Francis J. Manion, a senior ACLJ attorney said Blagojevich’s directive "is not only legally flawed but it puts pharmacists in the untenable position of having to choose between adhering to their religious beliefs and violating a law that could cost them their jobs."

"The religious beliefs of those in the health care industry must be protected," said Manion. "The pro-life pharmacist who chooses not to dispense abortion producing drugs should not face punishment and discrimination for abiding by those convictions."

Blagojevich’s office responded to the lawsuit, saying it "will vigorously defend a woman’s right to get her prescription for birth control filled without delay, without hassle and without a lecture."

"If a pharmacy wants to be in the business of dispensing contraceptives, then it must fill prescriptions without making moral judgments," Blagojevich said on Wednesday, according to a CNS News report.

Peggy Pace and John Menges, two registered pharmacists who will not dispense the morning-after pill or Plan B medication because of their religious, moral, and ethical beliefs brought the lawsuit. Both believe the drugs can act as abortion agents.

Both work for retail pharmacy stores and they join other pharmacists who say they will not dispense such drugs.

Blagojevich’s order takes effect for 150 days while his administration pursues putting a permanent rule in place.

The ACLJ filed legal papers with the Circuit Court of the Seventh Judicial Circuit in Springfield, Illinois.

Related web sites:
American Center for Law and Justice –