Illinois Pro-Life Pharmacist Doesn’t Like Proposed Morning After Pill Plan

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 15, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Pro-Life Pharmacist Doesn’t Like Proposed Morning After Pill Plan Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 15,

Springfield, IL ( — A pro-life pharmacist who has sued the state of Illinois for ordering all pharmacies to dispense the morning after pill is not happy with a proposed settlement in another case. The other case involves Walgreens pharmacists who lost their jobs when they refused to distribute the Plan B drug that can sometimes cause an abortion.

Under a proposed settlement in that case, 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.

But would still be required to fill all prescriptions or orders for the drug if it is in stock and make a good-faith effort to keep it in stock.

That troubles Luke Vander Bleek, who owns a pharmacy in Morrison and others in Sycamore and Genoa.

The Illinois Supreme Court is slated to hear an appeal in his lawsuit challenging an executive order issued by Gov. Rod Blagojevich forcing pharmacies to carry the controversial drug.

Vander Bleek, the immediate past president of the Illinois Pharmacist Association, told the Rockford Register Star newspaper that the settlement would mandate that pharmacies carry the morning after pill. That’s something he doesn’t want to do.

“Emergency contraception is not health care,” he told the newspaper. “My understanding of pregnancy is that it’s not a disease or an illness.”

If the settlement in the other case is approved, pharmacies that don’t use their “best effort to maintain adequate stock of emergency contraception” would be fined.

Francis Manion, a pro-life attorney representing Vander Bleek told the Rockford newspaper that, if the settlement is accepted, his challenge becomes “more compelling, because the amended rule arguably makes it more certain that you must stock Plan B."