Recently, an Illinois Appeals Court ruled in favor of two pharmacists who refused to fill emergency contraception prescriptions on the basis of their religious beliefs. On Friday, September 21, the court determined the plaintiffs’, Luke Vander Bleek and Glenn Kosirog, right to conscience permitted them from dispensing the morning-after pill as required by a 2005 executive order.
An amicus brief on behalf of the state has been filed in response by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois (ACLU). Ed Yohnka, ACLU spokesperson responded to the Appeals Court ruling by saying, “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.”
In February, Washington state officials blocked the state from enforcing rules requiring pharmacists to provide emergency contraception regardless of religious objections. Last week, the New York City school system began a pilot program offering emergency contraception to some high schools students.
Media Resources: Feminist Newswire 09/27/12; Washington Times 02/22/12; Huffington Post 09/21/12; Court Opinion 09/21/12; Chicago Tribune 09/22/12