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Americans United for Life

Posted by ssbg on November 30, 2005

Americans United for Life Files Suit on Behalf of Five Pharmacies Suing Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Over the Coercion Rule Forcing Pharmacies to Dispense the Morning-After Pill

CHICAGO, September 14, 2005 – Today, Americans United for Life filed suit against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on behalf of the owners of five Illinois pharmacies. The plaintiffs are challenging his rule forcing pharmacies to dispense contraceptives and abortifacient drugs such as the morning-after pill “without delay.? They assert that the rule is a violation of their rights under state law. 

The suit was filed in Sangamon County Circuit Court.

The plaintiffs are Luke and Joan Vander Bleek who own two pharmacies in Whiteside County and co-own own two pharmacies in Dekalb County with plaintiff Tom O’Shea, and Glenn Kosirog who owns a pharmacy in northern Cook County. Each of the owners is a full-time pharmacist as well as a pharmacy owner.

The suit alleges in part that the Governor’s rule violates the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act by compelling pharmacy owners who do not want to dispense drugs such as the morning-after pill (a drug that can cause abortions) to act against their ethical and moral beliefs by forcing them to do so. The suit also challenges the ability of the Governor to require health care providers to violate their conscience or choose another career.

Attorneys with Americans United for Life believe that if the Governor’s rule is allowed to stand, the rights of conscience of all health care providers in the state are in jeopardy.

Edward R. Martin, Jr., attorney and Director of the Center for the Rights of Conscience at Americans United for Life said, “Our clients are suing to protect their rights as Americans—their right to build a business, contribute to society as health care professionals, and to live their lives according to their principles. What we have here in Illinois is a governor who continues to engage in breath-taking power grabs – all to curry favor with certain special interest groups. Meanwhile, men and women health care professionals find their right to practice pharmacy threatened. Each of these small business owners just wants to be left alone but finds that they must go to court to fight off this government abuse of power.?

Martin continued, “This suit is a fight to defend private individuals’ right to be free from this Governor’s coercive and politically-motivated action. If pharmacy owners can be compelled to participate in acts they find morally objectionable, then other business owners and individuals can only wonder what government action will come for them next.?

A copy of the complaint can be found at

For interviews, contact Daniel McConchie, Director of Public Relations and Public Policy for Americans United for Life at 847-840-5945.

Americans United for Life (AUL) is the leading public-interest law firm dedicated to providing legal expertise and strategy in the field of life-affirming legislation, litigation, and public education. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, AUL’s fields of legal expertise include abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, destructive embryo research, and human cloning.


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