January 28, 2006
Sometimes I think I should devote this entire blog to Pat Robertson:
CHICAGO - Four Illinois pharmacists have sued U.S. drugstore chain Walgreen Co., saying they were wrongly fired for refusing to dispense the “morning-after” emergency contraceptive pill.
The four are represented by the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative legal group founded by Christian evangelist Pat Robertson.
The suit, filed Friday in Madison County, Illinois, charges that the company violated the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act, which allows health care providers to opt out of procedures they object to on moral grounds.
“It couldn’t be any clearer,” ACLJ attorney Francis Manion said in a statement. “In punishing these pharmacists for asserting a right protected by the Conscience Act, Walgreens broke the law.”
Er, no—the pharmacists (who were put on unpaid leave, not fired) did:
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich last April ordered pharmacists to make the morning-after pill, known as Plan B, available to customers “without delay.” The ACLJ along with several pharmacists have challenged the measure.
Polzin said Walgreen had all of its Illinois pharmacists file an electronic, online statement saying they would follow Illinois pharmacy regulations including Plan B. The four pharmacists refused to agree by a set deadline, he said.
… Walgreen’s policy allows pharmacists to decline to fill a prescription if they have a moral objection. However, they must refer the prescription to another employee who can arrange to fill the order swiftly.
[Walgreen spokesman Michael] Polzin said the four pharmacists worked the overnight shift at 24-hour facilities, and as the only ones on duty, they could not have the prescriptions filled without delay, as state law requires.
More on America’s wingnut phamacists here.
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