Illinois Governor Blagojevich Toughens Directive Forcing Morning After Pill Use

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 28, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Governor Blagojevich Toughens Directive Forcing Morning After Pill Use

Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 28, 2006

Springfield, IL ( — Not satisfied with forcing Illinois pharmacists to dispense the morning after pill if its in stock, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has issued an updated executive order forcing pharmacies to order more morning after pills if they are unavailable.

The new directive comes after the state took disciplinary action against a pharmacist at a central Illinois drug store told a nurse that the store did not carry the Plan B pills when they were actually in stock.

Under his new order, pharmacies must order more Plan B pills on a customer’s request if they are out of stock. Otherwise, the pharmacy is obligated to transfer the prescription to another store that can fill the order or provide an alternative drug.

According to the Springfield Journal Register, Blagojevich is also requiring pharmacies to post a phone number and web site for customers to use to complain if they can’t get their morning after pill prescription filled by the store.

The poster listing the contact information should be seen at all pharmacies by the fall.

According to the Journal Register, the Illinois Department of Finance and Professional Regulation mailed 17,000 letters to pharmacists and pharmacies about the new order and warning them that not telling customers when the Plan B drugs are in stock is contrary to the governor’s mandates.

The revised executive order is another slap in the face to pharmacies and pro-life pharmacists who don’t want to dispense a drug that can cause abortions.

State Sen. Frank Watson, a Republican, told the Springfield newspaper the new order is nothing more than a publicity stunt and "a little ridiculous."

"I’ve taken the position that pharmacists are part of the health-care delivery team, which includes doctors and nurses," said Watson, who also is a pharmacist. "I think most pharmacists felt they were under the Right of Conscience Act that doctors and nurses were under."

Some lawmakers are promoting a bill that would make it clear that pharmacists can opt out of dispensing certain drugs that violate their religious or moral beliefs. Blagojevich, who has been sued over his original executive order, has vowed to veto any such bill.

Meanwhile, the state filed a formal complaint against the West Peoria Walgreens pharmacist who told a Planned Parenthood that it did not carry the morning after pill. A hearing on the matter has been scheduled for May 15, the Journal-Register reported.

TAKE ACTION: File your complaints with the governor’s office at