by Steven Ertelt
December 15, 2005
St. Louis, MO (LifeNews.com) — One of the four southern Illinois pharmacists essentially fired for refusing to dispense the morning after pill says he won’t compromise his views to win back his $100,000 a year job.
Rich Quayle won’t apologize for refusing to violate his moral and religious beliefs by not dispensing the Plan B drugs, which can sometimes cause an abortion. Walgreens asked him and other pharmacists to sign a pledge to fill all prescriptions for legal drugs, following a new rule imposed by pro-abortion Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
"People try to paint us as being religious zealots," the 54 year-old Quayle told the Associated Press. "I have firm religious beliefs, and I choose not to destroy a human being. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad moral stance to take."
"The media has painted us as a bunch of rogues and uncaring individuals, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth," said Quayle. "I like helping people. But I’m not there to kill anybody, and I won’t do it."
Quayle told AP that he believes his right to refuse to fill the drugs is protected by the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act.
But Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff told AP the "right of conscience does not apply to pharmacists" and only protects doctors from having to perform abortions.
"If the Right of Conscience law means nothing and religious beliefs mean nothing, we’re in a lot of trouble," said Quayle, who is looking for a new job.
Quayle said he can’t fill the prescriptions for the morning after pill because they cause abortions on occasion if a woman is already pregnant when they’re used.
"If you prevent the egg from implanting in the uterus you prevent that from becoming a human being," he said in the Associated Press interview. "If I give her this medication, that medication is designed to eliminate one of those lives, and that’s a position I choose not to participate in."
The Blagojevich rule, which became permanent in August, is the subject of lawsuits from pharmacists around the state. It says all drugs must be made available if they are in stock. if not in stock, pharmacies must either order them or transfer the prescription to another pharmacy.
Other pharmacists in a store are supposed to fill any prescriptions which a pharmacist cannot fill because of moral objections.
Walgreesns suspended the four pharmacists without pay November 28 when they wouldn’t sign the pledge. One returned to work after agreeing but Quayle and the others have not.
The American Center for Law and Justice has filed an employment discrimination complaint on behalf of the three pharmacists with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in St. Louis.
The pro-life law firm says Walgreens can expect a lawsuit against it if it doesn’t reinstate the trio.