Illinois Pharmacists Join Abortion Drug Lawsuit Against Governor

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 30, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Pharmacists Join Abortion Drug Lawsuit Against Governor

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 30, 2005

Springfield, IL ( — More Illinois pharmacists have joined one of the two lawsuits failed against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. They seek to overturn his order requiring pharmacists there to fill all prescriptions for legal drugs, including morning after pills that can sometimes 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.

Four additional pharmacists have joined the case, including Gaylord Richard Quayle of Belleville, Amanda Varner of Carbondale, Jim Lynch who works in southern Illinois, and Michael Melvin who works in Carbondale.

"The Governor’s directive continues to cause concern for a growing number of pharmacists who don’t believe they should have to put their religious beliefs aside to keep their jobs," lead ACLJ counsel Francis Manion said.

"A growing number of pharmacists believe the Governor’s directive forces them to dispense abortion producing drugs — something that violates their deeply held religious beliefs," Manion added. "We’re hopeful that the court will recognize that the Governor’s directive is legally flawed and will move to protect the constitutional rights of pro-life pharmacists."

They do not want to be forced to disseminate the Plan B drug because of their religious, moral, and ethical beliefs.

Also, according to the lawsuit, Blagojevich’s order violates the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act.

That statute makes it unlawful for any public official to discriminate or punish any person who refuses to "participate in any way in any particular form of health care services contrary to his or her conscience."

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

Earlier this month, members of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules defeated an attempt to overturn the rule on a 6-5 vote.

The ACLJ today filed an amended lawsuit in the Circuit Court of the Seventh Judicial Circuit in Springfield, Illinois adding the names of four pharmacists to the two plaintiffs represented in the April filing.

The Center for Law and Religious Freedom is suing on behalf of a Chicago pharmacist.

Related web sites:
American Center for Law and Justice –