Illinois Pharmacies Allowed To Refuse to Sell Items That Violate Their Religious Faith

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blogojevich didn’t seem to care about upholding the law in more ways than one.  He is currently serving a prison sentence for trying to sell the senate seat vacated when Barack Obama was elected to the White House.

Illinois has a law on its books that forbids the government from forcing people to provide healthcare that goes against the person’s religious beliefs.  But Blogojevich ignored the law and issued an executive order requiring all pharmacists had to provide birth control and abortifacients, regardless if it violated their religious beliefs or not.  His executive order has been challenged over the past seven years.  Seems to be a trend with Illinois politicians, doesn’t it?

Among those fighting Blogojevich’s order is The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.  Senior Counsel for The Becket Fund Mark Rienzi commented about the case saying:

“It’s an executive order that never should have [been] issued, because Illinois has clear law that says the government can’t force people to provide healthcare that violates their conscience.”

“So it never should’ve happened, but Governor Blagojevich ignored that law, put this in place as an administrative rule, and for seven long years — even though the law was clear — both Blagojevich and his successors have fought this in court.”

“Although the state kept claiming this was necessary to solve an access problem, there was no evidence of a single actual human being who had ever been unable to get the drug because of a religious objection — not one, ever.”

“And yet the government was willing to force these people out of the only profession they’d ever known to solve a health problem that turned out not to exist.”

Consequently, Lisa Madigan, Illinois State Attorney General has decided to drop the case and stop fighting to preserve the illegal executive order.  By dropping the case, pharmacists are once again allowed to practice their religious faith in their business.  If their faith believes it is wrong to sell birth control and abortifacients, then they will no longer have to sell them.

I see this as a serious blow to Obamacare in Obama’s home state.  If pharmacies can’t be forced to sell items that are against their faith, then how can employers be forced to provide coverage for the same items when it goes against their faith?  It will be interesting to see how this affects the contraception mandate in Illinois and other states as well.