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ACLJ Gets Win for Pro-Life Pharmacy Owners in Illinois After Lengthy Legal Battle
Date:4/5/2011

WASHINGTON, April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), focusing on constitutional law, today secured a sweeping victory for pro-life pharmacy owners in Illinois after a legal battle lasting six years.  A state court in Illinois today issued a decision striking down a state law that compels pharmacy owners to dispense Plan B and other forms of emergency contraception, even if doing so violates their religious or moral beliefs.

In August 2009, a state judge granted the ACLJ's request for a preliminary injunction in the case of two pharmacy owners, Luke VanderBleek and Glenn Kosirog in the case of  Morr-Fitz, Inc. v. Blagojevich.

The case went to trial in March 2010 and a decision today by Judge John W. Belz of the circuit court sitting in Springfield declared that the state law violates the state's Health Care Right of Conscience Act, the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and the Free Exercise of Religion Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  The decision is posted here.

Francis J. Manion is Senior Counsel for the ACLJ and served as co-counsel for the plaintiffs:

"Today's decision is a major victory for the rights of conscience," said  Manion.  "After six long years of litigation, our clients have finally prevailed against a state government determined to coerce them and all pro-life pharmacists into violating their deeply held religious beliefs or give up their livelihoods.  Judge Belz's decision makes clear that both Illinois state law and the First Amendment will not permit this. This country was founded by people with a strong commitment to religious freedom. That's why freedom of religion is the first freedom protected in the Bill of Rights. For government at any level to try to run roughshod over that freedom is to abdicate the government's
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SOURCE American Center for Law and Justice
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