IL Judge Upholds Rule Requiring Pharmacists to Fill EC Prescriptions

Illinois Judge John Belz on Thursday denied a petition to block enforcement of Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich’s emergency order requiring pharmacies to fill emergency contraception prescriptions. The suit was brought by Americans United for Life, on behalf of two pharmacists. Judge Belz found they had not met legal requirements necessary to temporarily block the law.

Terence Corrigan, spokesperson for State Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D), told Copley News/Peoria Journal Star that the pharmacists had not been asked to fill EC prescriptions, and thus could not prove the governor’s ruling harmed them in any way. “There must be some emergency that requires the court to act quickly,” Corrigan said. “We’ve heard nothing to suggest there is any emergency”

Governor Blagojevich issued the order in April, requiring that if pharmacies sell any prescription form of birth control, they must fill all such prescriptions (including those for EC). If it is out of stock, pharmacies must provide an alternative form of treatment, order the drug, transfer the order to another pharmacy, or return the prescription. The Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules approved making Gov. Blagojevich’s temporary rule permanent in August.

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Copley News/Peoria Journal Star 9/23/05; Feminist Daily News 4/4/05, 8/18/05; Kaiser 9/26/05

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