Pharmacists in Illinois are now permitted to have a conscience,
as they can refuse to sell birth control or abortion-causing drugs
if it violates their faith.
Mark Rienzi of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty explains
that the battle began more than seven years ago, when then-Governor
Rod Blagojevich (D) issued the edict that all pharmacists had to
sell the drugs regardless of their religious beliefs.
"It's an executive order that never should have [been] issued,
because Illinois has clear law that says the government can't force
people to provide healthcare that violates their conscience,"
"So it never should've happened, but Governor Blagojevich
ignored that law, put this in place as an administrative rule, and
for seven long years -- even though the law was clear -- both
Blagojevich and his successors have fought this in court."
Though Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan decided to drop
the case and any further appeals, Rienzi says the state's case
actually fell apart when it landed in court.
"Although the state kept claiming this was necessary to solve an
access problem, there was no evidence of a single actual human
being who had ever been unable to get the drug because of a
religious objection -- not one, ever," the attorney asserts.
"And yet the government was willing to force these people out of
the only profession they'd ever known to solve a health problem
that turned out not to exist."
Rienzi expects this to be the end of the Illinois case, and he
says it sends a message nationwide that people of faith have the
right to practice their faith, even in their businesses.
The year 2012 was a busy year, but some of the biggest news was
in regards to business and the environment.