Fired Walgreens Pharmacists File Lawsuit Over Morning After Pill Rule

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 20, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Fired Walgreens Pharmacists File Lawsuit Over Morning After Pill Rule Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 20, 2005

Springfield, IL ( — Three Walgreens pharmacists who were essentially fired by the drug store for refusing to fill prescriptions for the morning after pill have filed a lawsuit against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich for putting the executive order in place that led to them losing their jobs.

The American Center for Law and Justice, a pro-life law firm that filed the lawsuit, says it violates the religious rights of the pharmacists to opt out of filling prescriptions for the Plan B drugs, which sometimes cause an abortion.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich is named in the suit, as well as the heads of the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and its Division of Professional Regulation.

Frank Manion, senior counsel for the ACLJ, said, "By failing to protect the fundamental rights of pharmacists, the (executive order) violates the Constitution and other federal and state laws."

The lawsuit says the Blagojevich order violates their First Amendment rights as well as the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act and other laws.

Blagojevich told WBBM radio that he is "sued alot" and disagrees with the pro-life views of the ACLJ.

He told the radio station that forcing pharmacists to fill the morning after pill prescriptions was a "simple issue."

"Does a woman, who has a prescription from her doctor, have a right to have a prescription filled without some guy behind a counter hassle her, delay her or lecture her," he asked.

His executive order requires pharmacists to fill scripts for any legal drug that a pharmacy may carry. Pharmacists are allowed to not carry a drug such as the morning after pill, but pharmacists working at most pharmacies in the state, which are retail chains, don’t have oversight over which drugs are sold.

The pharmacists in this case were indefinitely suspended from a Walgreens store in southern Illinois because they would not sign a document committing to fill orders for all drugs.

Two other pharmacists who don’t want to dispense the Plan B drugs are also represented in the case.

Other pharmacists have filed other lawsuits against the governor over the executive order. Blagojevich first proposed it in April and it became permanent in August.

Related web sites:
American Center for Law and Justice –