Wednesday, April 06, 2011

IL Pro-life Pharmacists Win Against Plan B

Illinois Circuit Judge John Belz ruled that the state law forcing pharmacists to dispense the "morning-after" pill violates their right of conscience and the First Amendment. The attorney general plans to appeal the decision, thus extending the nearly-six year battle.

For background, read Illinois Pharmacists Winning Legal Battle over 'Morning-after' Pill

UPDATE 12/11/12: Illinois attorney general will NOT appeal ruling

-- From "Wheaton pharmacist wins 'morning-after' case" by The Associated Press 4/6/11

Pharmacists Glenn Kosirog of Wheaton and Luke VanderBleek and the three drug stores they operate sued over the 2005 rule imposed by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich. A circuit court originally dismissed the claim, but the state Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that a court must hear it.

Francis Manion, senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice and the plaintiffs' attorney, called the decision "a major victory for the rights of conscience."

"Plan B" emergency contraception contains a high dose of birth control pills and can be used to prevent pregnancy if taken within three days of unprotected sex by blocking ovulation or fertilization. Critics of the contraceptive say it is the equivalent of an abortion pill because it can prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Judge says pharmacists can refuse to dispense 'morning-after' pills" by Dean Olsen, The State Journal-Register 4/5/11

“We’re thrilled,” Mark Rienzi, a Catholic University law professor and one of the pharmacy owners’ lawyers, said after the ruling. “The law of Illinois and the law of the United States make it clear that people can enter the health-care profession without having to check their conscience or religion at the door.”

The pharmacy owners, both of whom are pharmacists, oppose emergency contraception on religious grounds.

Even though lawyers for the state argued otherwise, Belz ruled that pharmacies and pharmacists are protected by the Illinois Healthcare Right of Conscience Act, as well as the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, when they refuse to perform services on moral grounds.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Illinois Pharmacists Win Key Victory on Morning After Pill" by Steven Ertelt, 4/5/11

“Today’s decision is a major victory for the rights of conscience,” Manion told LifeNews. “After six long years of litigation, our clients have finally prevailed against a state government determined to coerce them and all pro-life pharmacists into violating their deeply held religious beliefs or give up their livelihoods. Judge Belz’s decision makes clear that both Illinois state law and the First Amendment will not permit this. This country was founded by people with a strong commitment to religious freedom. That’s why freedom of religion is the first freedom protected in the Bill of Rights. For government at any level to try to run roughshod over that freedom is to abdicate the government’s primary responsibility.”

In his ruling, Judge Belz noted that “The government asserts that this Rule serves a compelling interest in timely access to drugs. Yet the government concedes that it had never done anything to advance its asserted interest prior to April 2010. Even as to emergency contraception, the Court heard no evidence of a single person who ever was unable to obtain emergency contraception because of a religious objection.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

'Morning-after' Pill Gone at Pharmacists Choosing in WA

US Court Rules Pharmacists Must Have Rights of Conscience Respected

No Freedom of Conscience for Pharmacists Says Bill Passed by New Jersey Legislature

Pharmicists' Freedom of Conscience Threatened at the Federal Level

Appeals Court Rules Against Pharmacist Seeking Religious Rights Protection

NARAL Bullies Kroger over Abortion Drug