Life Legal Defense Foundation commends the Illinois Circuit Court for Sangamon County for its ruling on Tuesday which held that pharmacists with conscientious objections to dispensing emergency contraceptives cannot be forced to do so.

At issue was an Illinois administrative rule requiring pharmacies and pharmacy owners to dispense Plan B and other forms of emergency contraceptives regardless of conscience or religious beliefs. This Illinois rule has been hanging over pharmacists since 2005, and has been the subject of a continuous legal battle since that time. LLDF assisted with an amicus brief at the Illinois Supreme Court after the case had been dismissed for lack of ripeness. In its ruling in Morr-Fitz, Inc. v. Blagojevich the Illinois Supreme Court held the pharmacists’ claims were ripe for adjudication. Since this ruling in 2008, the case has been litigated on its merits. State Attorney General Lisa Madigan has stated that she will appeal Tuesday’s ruling.

“Finally, pharmacists in Illinois can work at their profession with a clear conscience and no fear of persecution from the government for acting in accordance with their sincerely held beliefs. This will translate into lives saved from chemical abortion,” states Dana Cody, President and Executive Director of Life Legal Defense Foundation. “Our hope is that other states will take note and respect pharmacists’ rights of conscience.”

Look for Life Legal’s training on pharmacists’ rights of conscience in the near future. The training is LLDF’s response to the calls received from pharmacists regarding conscientious objections to dispensing abortifacients.