SSBG

A worldview is a set of claims that purport to be based on ultimate reality.

Discipline of Pharmacists Spark Complaint

Posted by ssbg on December 12, 2005

From Christianity Today

Discipline of Pharmacists Spark Complaint By JIM SUHR, Associated Press Writer
Thu Dec 8,12:43 AM ET

Walgreen Co. engaged in religious discrimination by “effectively firing” three Illinois pharmacists who refused to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception, a public-interest group alleged Wednesday.

The American Center for Law and Justice, founded by evangelist Pat Robertson, said it had filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The group said the pharmacists were put on unpaid leave Nov. 28 because the drug store chain said they violated a state rule mandating that such prescriptions be filled.

“Since the pharmacists believe that human life begins at conception, they conclude that dispensing such drugs would require them to participate in the moral equivalent of abortion,” the Washington-based group said in a statement.

“I knew when these drugs came out I would never be able to dispense them,” pharmacist John Menges, who worked in a Walgreens store in Collinsville until being placed on leave, told The Associated Press.

Frank Manion of the ACLJ declined to release a copy of the complaint, saying such matters routinely are confidential.

The local EEOC office did not immediately return messages left seeking comment.

The Illinois rule — imposed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich in April — requires Illinois pharmacies that sell contraceptives approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to fill prescriptions for emergency birth control. Pharmacies that do not fill prescriptions for any type of contraception are not required to follow the rule.

“It is strictly stated in state law that pharmacists must fill prescriptions for emergency contraceptions,” said Tiffani Bruce, a spokeswoman for Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreen. “Anyone who takes issue with this law needs to address it with the state or the governor.”

The three pharmacists — identified by the group as Menges, Richard Quayle and Carol Muzzarelli — were put on unpaid leave for refusing on religious and moral grounds to fill prescriptions for the morning-after pill. A fourth pharmacist who was put on leave returned to work Monday after agreeing in writing to follow the state rule.

Manion called a state or federal lawsuit likely if the company doesn’t reinstate the pharmacists. “It’s important that a stand be taken here,” he said.

Bruce said the three pharmacists have declined to accept the chain’s offer to find them work in Missouri, which has no such rule.

Several lawsuits on behalf of pharmacists and pharmacy owners have been filed in opposition to the rule, many by Manion’s group and Americans United for Life, a Chicago-based public interest law firm.

___

On the Net:

Walgreen Co.: http://www.walgreens.com

American Center for Law and Justice: http://www.aclj.org

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