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Illinois pharmacist sues to avoid filling 'morning-after pill' prescriptions

[JURIST] Illinois pharmacist Luke Vander Bleek has filed suit to oppose a state order that the emergency contraceptive "morning-after pill" be made available immediately. Vander Bleek, a Roman Catholic who owns two pharmacies, claims that the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act [text] that allows health care providers to opt out of procedures they object to for moral reasons, allows him to refrain from selling certain contraceptives. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich [official website] issued a rule April 1, 2005 demanding that pharmacists make the pill available [press release] "without delay." Blagojevich's spokeswoman said that once a pharmacist begins selling some contraceptives he must sell all products in that category regardless of moral beliefs. Two other Illinois pharmacists [AP report] filed a similar suit in April, soon after the order was issued. Vander Bleek is represented in the current litigation by Americans United for Life [advocacy website], who have issued this press release and have posted a copy of the complaint [PDF]. Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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