Illinois Lawmakers Wade Into Pharmacist-Morning After Pill Debate

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 29, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Lawmakers Wade Into Pharmacist-Morning After Pill Debate Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 29, 2005

Springfield, IL ( — Two Illinois state lawmakers have proposed legislation that would overturn Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s mandate that pharmacists fill prescriptions for all legal drugs, including the morning after pill which can sometimes cause an abortion.

Two members of the Illinois House of Representatives, one a Democrat and the other a Republican, have filed similar bills allowing pharmacists to opt out of filling prescriptions for the Plan B drugs.

Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Mulberry Grove, who is sponsoring House Bill 4246, told Copely News Service, "The governor is forcing a few pharmacists to choose between their religious beliefs and their livelihood."

Stephens can appreciate how pharmacists feel as he is a licensed pharmacist and co-owns two pharmacies.

Rep. Kurt Granberg, D-Carlyle, filed the other bill, CNS reported and he said the governor’s mandate needs legislative supervision.

"The Legislature should have a role in enactment of a policy," who is sponsoring House Bill 4230, told CNS.

The issue has sparked nationwide controversy as Blagojevich’s rule has become the subject for both state and federal lawsuits. It came up again when a southern Illinois Walgreens essentially fired five pharmacists who refused to follow the order and fill the drugs.

Both lawmakers live near the area where the Walgreens firings occurred.

Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff told CNS the governor stands by his rule but did not comment on the proposed legislation.

Pam Sutherland of the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council said she didn’t think either bill would gain much traction in the legislature.

Related web sites:
Illinois General Assembly –