Pharmacist Conscience Rights Upheld

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An Illinois state appeals court has ruled that pharmacy owners cannot be compelled to stock and sell drugs that violate their religious beliefs. A ruling that many are calling a great victory for religious freedom.

The appeals court upheld a lower court injunction prohibiting enforcement of a state regulation governing the availability of so-called “emergency contraceptives.”

Disgraced Illinois former Governor Rod Blagojevich had issued an unlawful administrative rule in 2005 requiring that all pharmacies stock and dispense Plan B, the so-called “morning after pill.”

Two pharmacy owners, Luke Vander Bleek and Glenn Kosirog, challenged the Governor’s edict, claiming that it violated their rights under the state’s Health Care Conscience Rights Act and Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The appeals court agreed.