A coercive mandate requiring Illinois pharmacists to violate their consciences has been finally been defeated!
In April 2005, then-Governor Rod Blagojevich issued a rule requiring all pharmacists dispense all drugs, regardless of their personal beliefs.
At the time, Blagojevich made public statements emphasizing that the goal of the Rule was to coerce religious pharmacists to dispense drugs that violate their beliefs.
He asked physicians to report pharmacists who refused to fill such prescriptions and issued threats to the pharmacists and their employers.
On June 8, 2005, two pharmacists sued Illinois, saying the Rule violated the Health Care Right of Conscience Act, which makes it unlawful for any public official to discriminate or punish any person who refuses to “participate in any way in any particular form of health care services contrary to his or her conscience.”
In March 2006, Blagojevich again acknowledged publicly that the Rule was directed at pharmacists who objected to dispensing certain drugs on religious or moral grounds. He declared that such individuals should find another profession.
Finally, after seven years, the long battle is over!
On September 22, 2012, a state appellate court found in favor of the pharmacists and in December 2012, the Illinois Attorney General announced that it will not appeal the case to the Illinois Supreme Court.
AUL and Illinois Pharmacists Strike a Blow for First Amendment Freedom of Conscience – December 11th, 2012