Faith allowed in IL pharmacies

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Charlie Butts (

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.

Rienzi, Mark (The Becket Fund)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," Rienzi cites.

"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.

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