Navigation Links
ACLJ Gets Win for Pro-Life Pharmacy Owners in Illinois After Lengthy Legal Battle

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 primary responsibility."

Mark Rienzi of Catholic University's Columbus School of Law served as co-counsel in the case:

"Luke VanderBleek and Glenn Kosirog are competent and caring professionals who have been diligently serving the public for decades," Rienzi said. "They happen to have a religious objection to one discreet kind of drugs -- drugs that they believe interfere with human life at its earliest stages. In a pluralistic society that honors diversity there ought to be room for people like our clients to practice their professions without the threat of government sanctions. It's significant that the court in this case found that Illinois officials produced no evidence whatsoever of anyone ever being unable to obtain the drugs at issue and that there is no realistic threat of danger to anyone's health posed by allowing objecting pharmacists to step out of the way. The state's arguments to the contrary simply did not hold up to scrutiny."

In his ruling, Judge Belz noted that, "The government asserts that this Rule serves a compelling interest in timely access to drugs. Yet the government concedes that it had never done anything to advance its asserted interest prior to April 2010. Even as to emergency contraception, the Court heard no evidence of a single person who ever was unable to obtain emergency contraception because of a religious objection."

This is the latest victory in an ongoing effort to protect the fundamental right of pharmacists to practice their profession without having to violate their conscience.

In Menges v. Blagojevich, the ACLJ represented seven individual pharmacists who succeeded in having the state amend the regulation to recognize the conscience rights of individual pharmacists.  In Vandersand v. Walmart and Quayle v. Walgreens, the ACLJ convinced two other courts that Illinois pharmacists are protected by the State's Health Care Right of Conscience Act.

Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice focuses on constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C.  The ACLJ is online at

SOURCE American Center for Law and Justice
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. FRC Action and Pro-Life Coalition Urge the FDA to Reject New Abortion-Causing Drug
2. Pro-Life Chair Voices Grave Concern over FDA Plan to Approve Abortion Drug for Emergency Contraception
3. Lloydspharmacy Reveals Over 11 Million Britons Risking Health by Taking Old Medicines
4. Medcos Willingboro Automated Pharmacy: 500 Million Prescriptions and Counting
5. Web Pharmacy Gives Its Customers a 5% Discount Coupon
6. Assured Pharmacy Reports Same Store Sales for the Month of January 2011
7. PromiseCare Pharmacy Donates to Soles4Souls® Japanese Relief Efforts
8. CVS/pharmacy Debuts the "To Your Health" Program in Los Angeles Bringing 240 Free Health Screening Events to the Community
9. Technology Embracing Pharmacy, Millennium Pharmacy Systems, Welcomes New CIO
10. American Regent Initiates Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Concentrated Sodium Chloride Injection, USP, 23.4% 30 mL Single Dose Vials and 100 mL Pharmacy Bulk Packs
11. Pradaxa Gains Preferred Formulary Status with Key Pharmacy Benefit Managers
Post Your Comments:
(Date:9/25/2017)... 2017   Montrium , an industry leader ... the IQPC Trial Master Files & Inspection Readiness ... EastHORN Clinical Services has selected eTMF Connect ... management. EastHORN, a leading European contract research organization ... transparency to enable greater collaboration with sponsors, improve ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, ... three leadership team developments today:   ... ... Tom Tefft ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... and NEW YORK , Sept. 12, 2017   ... for global supply chains, has published the first annual edition of its ... of more than 20,400 companies evaluated by EcoVadis, based on Scorecard Ratings ... 2016. ... CSR Risk & Performance Index ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... While it’s often important to take certain medications during the ... Texas, has identified a solution. , She developed a prototype for MOTION LIGHT-UP PILL ... it eliminates the need to turn on a light when taking medication during the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law ... organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our ... a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th ... Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, ... The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history ... The Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and ... WWII veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his career as ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ... products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. ... so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):