SPRINGFIELD - Yet another of imprisoned former Governor Rod Blagojevich administration's inappropriate policy stances was abandoned last week, this time by an Illinois Appellate Court for the Fourth District. After seven years, Illinois pharmacists will once again be able to exercise religious beliefs. LifeNews blogger Bill Saunders explained the ramifications of the Court's decision:
First, the court concluded that pharmacists and pharmacies fall under the protection of the Conscience Act. The state had argued to the contrary, in an attempt to deny conscience protections to pharmacists and pharmacies. This means that other pharmacists and pharmacies—faced with the coercive choice of violating their conscience or the Rule—can file suit with a great likelihood of success.
It also demonstrates the importance of conscience provisions and what state legislatures can do to protect conscience rights through state law.
Second, the court concluded that the provision of “emergency contraception” does not constitute “emergency medical care” under the auspices of the Conscience Act. The State had argued that another provision in the Conscience Act, which requires healthcare personnel to provide emergency medical care, trumps a pharmacist’s objection to “emergency contraception.” But the appellate court decidedly rejected this claim. Noting first that the Illinois Supreme Court had recently defined “emergency” as “an unforeseen circumstance involving imminent danger to a person or property requiring an urgent response,” the appellate court concluded that “’emergency contraceptives’ do not fall within the plain and ordinary meaning of the term ‘emergency.’” Moreover, the court went on to state, “unprotected sex does not place a woman in imminent danger requiring an urgent response.”
As this decision settles, prolifers' attention will turn to defeating the national Obamacare-linked Health and Human Services' mandate for health insurance that pays for abortions, contraceptives and sterilizations.