Appeals court backs pharmacists
CHICAGO – An Illinois appeals court has ruled in favor of two pharmacists who objected to having to provide emergency contraception on religious grounds, setting a precedent their lawyer hopes will protect others from judicial or state sanctions.
In a seven-year legal campaign, Luke VanderBleek and Glenn Kosirog set out to shield their pharmacies from a 2005 executive order issued by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich requiring all pharmacists to fill prescriptions for the so-called morning-after pill.
In a lawsuit, they argued that they were protected by the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act, which says health professionals cannot be punished if they refuse to offer a service because of their conscientious convictions.
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