Illinois Supreme Court Allows Pharmacies’ Right Of Conscience Case To Go Forward

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled today that pharmacies have legal standing to challenge an administrative rule requiring pharmacies to dispense ‘Plan B (the so-called “morning after pill”)’, which abortion activists call “emergency contraception,” regardless of their religious, moral, or conscientious beliefs.  The Supreme Court’s ruling in Morr-Fitz v. Blagojevich reversed two lower courts that had previously ruled pharmacy owners did not have legal standing to challenge the rule.Thomas More Law Center attorney Kim Daniels, who filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Illinois Pharmacists Association and American Pharmacists Association, stated, “Since Governor Blagojevich promulgated this rule, Illinois pharmacists have been in  legal limbo regarding whether the state can force them to violate their consciences despite long-standing legal protections against just such government coercion.  This ruling clears the way for Illinois courts to determine whether the plain language of state and federal law protects the rights of these professionals not to be forced to act against their most deeply-held beliefs.” 

Governor Blagojevich, in referring to his executive order, infamously stated, “Rather than try to get the legislature to pass something – because we attempted to and they didn’t do it – on my own, through executive order action, I forced these guys to fill prescriptions for birth control for women who come in with prescriptions from their doctors.”  The Governor went on to say that pharmacists and pharmacy owners either had to dispense the abortifacient pill or leave the profession.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center stated, “Pharmacy owners should not have to stock ‘Plan B’ against their conscience.  These types of rights to conscience cases are blossoming all over the country due in large part to efforts of the pro-abortion lobby to force medical professionals to act against their moral and religious beliefs.”

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