Illinois Settlement Would Help Pharmacists Protect Conscience Rights

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 10, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Settlement Would Help Pharmacists Protect Conscience Rights Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 10,

Springfield, IL ( — An attorney for pro-life pharmacists has proposed a settlement in federal court that could wind up protecting their conscious rights if it’s accepted. The settlement would give pharmacies and pharmacists another option to avoid losing their licenses and fines from the state for refusing to dispense the morning after pill.

Under the settlement, pharmacies would be allowed to work by phone or fax with an off-site pharmacist to sell the Plan B drug to a customer who encounters a pharmacist who has moral or religious concerns about dispensing it.

Pharmacies would still be required to fill all prescriptions or orders for the drug if it is in stock.

If the settlement is agreed to by the state it would result in changes to the rule pro-abortion Gov. Rod Blagojevich put in place in April 2005 forcing pharmacists to dispense the drug whether they could morally do so or not.

Francis Manion, a pro-life attorney representing the pharmacists in the lawsuit, told the Springfield Journal Register, “It changes the rule significantly, in that, for the first time, the state now at least recognizes the existence of objecting pharmacists and attempts by this amendment to deal with the problem that that causes."

He’s representing five pharmacists who lost their jobs with Walgreens in southern Illinois and Chicago after they refused to sell the morning after pill to customers.

Walgreens spokeswoman Tiffani Bruce told the newspaper the proposed settlement is fair and helps pharmacists avoid compromising their beliefs.

And Robyn Ziegler, spokeswoman for Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office, which is representing the state, appeared to favor the idea as well.