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News of the Day ... In Perspective

4/3/2007

Pharmacist, ordered to dispense “morning after” pill, appeals to Illinois Supreme Court

Because he believes that “Plan B” contraception can cause an abortion in some circumstances, Luke Vander Bleek, owner of pharmacies in Whiteside and DeKalb counties in Illinois, doesn’t want to sell it. When Gov. Rod Blagojevich handed down an executive order, later made permanent by a legislative panel, requiring all pharmacists to dispense the product, Vander Bleek filed a lawsuit.

On a 2-to-1 vote, the 4th District Appellate Court dismissed the lawsuit. Justice John Turner dissented, pointing to the Governor’s statements that he would take “any and all steps” to force pharmacists to distribute the morning after pill.

The Governor was pleased by the ruling, stating that “there is no provision in our laws that will let a pharmacist deny a patient access to healthcare.”

Vander Bleek said he does not consider pregnancy to be a disease.

“This comes right at the heart of a moral question for us as to whether or not I and my businesses can be involved in products that destroy life,” Vander Bleek explained. “I reject it. I answer on that question to a much higher authority.”

Other pharmacists said they would also choose not to dispense Plan B, if it were not for the mandate.

Vander Bleek has appealed to the state Supreme Court (LifeNews.com 3/28/07).

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