An Illinois appellate court Friday affirmed a lower court finding that the state cannot force pharmacies and pharmacists to sell emergency contraceptives - also known as “morning after pills” - if they have religious objections.
In 2005, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich mandated that all pharmacists and pharmacies sell “Plan B,” the brand name for a drug designed to prevent pregnancy following unprotected sex or a known or suspected contraceptive failure if taken within 72 hours.
The Illinois appellate court agreed that the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act protects pharmacists’ decision not to dispense the contraceptives due to their beliefs.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, which had filed an amicus brief on behalf of the state, expressed dismay at the court’s decision.
“We are dismayed that the court expressly refused to consider the interests of women who are seeking lawful prescription medication and essentially held that the religious practice of individuals trumps women’s health care,” said ACLU spokesman Ed Yohnka. “We think the court could not be more wrong.”
This is incredibly disturbing. This is a distorted view of religious freedom. It is religious freedom to not take the morning after pill. It is NOT religious freedom to deny others their right to take the morning after pill. It is simply refusing to do your job.
The precedent this sets is a bit terrifying. This line of thought could lead to pharmacists, hell, even doctors, being legally allowed to dispense or prescribe medications that only align with their own personal beliefs.
(Source: The Huffington Post)