Pharmacy owners win preliminary injunction

WASHINGTON (BP)--Two Illinois pharmacy owners have gained at least a temporary victory in their effort to conduct their practice according to their pro-life consciences.

The Seventh Judicial Circuit Court in Springfield, Ill., has granted a preliminary injunction protecting Luke VanderBleek and Glenn Kosirog from having to abide by former Gov. Rob Blagojevich's 2005 order requiring pharmacists to fill all prescriptions. The injunction will remain in effect until there is a final ruling in the case.

The decision means the pharmacies owned by the two men will not be required to dispense the "morning-after" pill Plan B and other drugs to which they object.

Plan B, for which girls 16 and younger must have a prescription, works to restrict ovulation in a female. It also can act after conception, thereby causing an abortion, pro-lifers point out. This mechanism of the drug blocks implantation of a tiny embryo in the uterine wall.

VanderBleek and Kosirog "are suffering irreparable harm in the form of an ongoing chill of their free exercise rights and rights of conscience under federal and state law, as well as unlawful coercion based on their religious and moral beliefs," Judge John Belz noted in his Aug. 21 ruling, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents the pharmacists.

The plaintiffs "have a likelihood of success on the merits of their claims," Belz stated.

Earlier court decisions recognized individual pharmacists' freedom of conscience, but Belz's ruling provided a win for pharmacy owners.


Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode.

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