Saturday, April 2, 2005
Recently, I had blogged on a story concerning pharmacists and the adoption of conscience clauses by many states. The laws permit pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions that violate the pharmacists' personal values. Today, the New York Times and other news outlets report that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has adopted a different approach. On Friday, he approved an emergency rule requiring pharmacies to fill birth control prescriptions after learning about a Chicago pharmacist who refused to fill such an order because of moral opposition to the drug. The rule takes effect immediately. It requires that if a pharmacist does not fill a patient's prescription because of a moral or religious objection, another pharmacist must be available to fill it without delay. (Mmm - sounds like a great idea to me . . . ). According to Maura Kelly Lannan of the Associated Press, Governor Blagojevich stated, "Our regulation says that if a woman goes to a pharmacy with a prescription for birth control, the pharmacy or the pharmacist is not allowed to discriminate or to choose who he sells it to," Blagojevich said. "No delays. No hassles. No lectures."
The Governor's administration is working on a more permanent law to address this issue. It is a shame that we need legislation to address the issue of women obtaining properly prescribed medicines but I am glad that the Illinois Governor has taken the stance that he has. [bm]