Target: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn
Goal: Stop allowing Illinois pharmacists to deny access to emergency contraception for religious reasons
An Illinois court recently upheld a ruling that pharmacists in Illinois will not be required to dispense emergency contraceptives if the medications conflict with their religious beliefs. The ruling is in response to pharmacists questioning a directive given by the former Illinois governor that required all pharmacies to provide emergency contraception to anyone who needed it. The directive was overturned because of an act in Illinois that allows any individual to refuse to provide health care if it conflicts with the provider’s morals. This law places religious freedom ahead of women’s health and must be repealed.
In a similar case earlier this year in Washington State, a federal court ruled that it is not unconstitutional to prevent pharmacists from refusing to dispense legal drugs, regardless of the pharmacist’s moral views of the medication. Those who question the morality of emergency contraception likely see it as a form of abortion, even though the medication prevents pregnancy and cannot terminate a pregnancy. Allowing pharmacists to deny access to contraception does not reduce abortions; it only takes away a woman’s right to choose appropriate medication and protect her health.
This ruling is a step backward for women’s rights and could lead to limitations on the distribution of other types of contraception, and it is a misuse of the concept of religious freedom. If a pharmacist’s religious leanings prohibit the use of contraception and the pharmacist refuses to provide it, the woman’s health could be at risk. We have a duty to ensure that the health of all citizens is given priority over religious freedom by protesting this law and preventing it from spreading to other areas of the country.
Dear Governor Quinn,
An Illinois court recently ruled that pharmacists may take their religious views into consideration before supplying patients with legal medications, giving them the power to deny women access to emergency contraception.
Although all religious beliefs deserve respect, no one should be denied access to healthcare in the name of religious freedom. Giving pharmacists the right to deny access to these medications is a violation of reproductive rights, and women should not have to risk their health because of someone else’s personal beliefs.
The ruling is a threat to women’s safety, placing the right to religious freedom before the right to health. I am urging you to take a stand for women’s health by repealing this law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: emagineart via Flickr.