Illinois Appelate Court rules pharmacists can refuse to dispense morning after pill
CHICAGO, September 28, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com)—Two pharmacists in Illinois who disputed a law ordering their pharmacies to dispense the morning after pill, won a seven-year-long legal battle last Friday.
According to the Associated Press, Luke VanderBleek and Glen Kosirog sought religious exemption from a 2005 executive order which dictated all pharmacists must fill out prescriptions for the Morning After Pill.
An injunction by a lower court ruled in favor of the two men that state law “protects the pharmacist’s decision not to dispense emergency contraceptives due to their conscience.”
The Illinois Right of Conscience Act gives pharmacists the right to refuse dispensing certain items, the pharmacists argued. Frances Manion, their attorney and senior counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice, said the law “provides the broadest protections for the right of conscience of healthcare professionals of any law in the country.”
This ruling by the 4th district Appellate court does not give exemption to pharmacists state wide, the Chicago Tribune reports, but Manion said the precedent will protect others. “This is plenty, because the precedent that this will set in the state of Illinois means that the state is not going to go after a pharmacist that exercises conscientious objection when they know the court has ruled this way in this case,” he said. “We’re very happy about it.”
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Karen Brauer, President of Pharmacists for Life International, an exclusively pro-life pharmacy association, said she has seen many pharmacists lose their jobs for refusing to sell the morning after pill. “When pharmacists find out they might be fired for doing the right thing, they feel very alone,” she said. “They don’t know where to go or what to do.”
Brauer says evidence proves that so-called “emergency contraception” can induce abortion, and those who say it prevents ovulation and the possibility of pregnancy if taken within two-to-three days “are not telling the truth.”
“If the morning after pill is taken after the surge of luteinizing hormone, it will not suppress ovulation, and will then work after fertilization, to interfere with implantation of the early human embryo,” she said.
Despite the potential threat to their employment, Brauer encourages pro-life pharmacists to take the risk and pursue legal action if necessary to defend freedom of conscience.