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April 13, 2005

In response to lawsuit filed by Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice challenging Governor’s emergency rule for pharmacies

"Today we learned that Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice has filed a lawsuit to prevent us from ensuring that women have equal access to health care. We will vigorously defend a woman’s right to get her prescription for birth control filled without delay, without hassle and without a lecture. If a pharmacy wants to be in the business of dispensing contraceptives, then it must fill prescriptions without making moral judgments. Pharmacists – like everyone else – are free to hold personal religious beliefs, but pharmacies are not free to let those beliefs stand in the way of their obligation to their customers."

Responding to complaints filed against a licensed Illinois pharmacy that refused to dispense prescription contraceptives, Gov. Rod Blagojevich filed an emergency rule on April 1 that clarifies pharmacies in Illinois that sell contraceptives must accept and fill prescriptions for contraceptives without delay. The emergency rule is effective for 150 days. The Blagojevich Administration is seeking a permanent rule to replace the emergency rule when it expires.


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