Hearing Set for Tomorrow on Pro-Life Pharmacist's Request for Temporary Restraining Order Against Illinois Governor

WAUKEGAN, Il., April 18 - The Lake County Circuit Court will hear arguments tomorrow at 9:15 a.m. in the case Scimio v. Blagojevich to rule on pharmacist David Scimio's motion for temporary restraining order against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's emergency rule imposed against pro-life pharmacists.

The Center for Law & Religious Freedom filed a lawsuit in Illinois state court against Governor Rod Blagojevich on April 15 on behalf of pharmacist David Scimio. The lawsuit challenges the "emergency rule" the governor issued on April 1 that states a pharmacist "must dispense . . . without delay" contraceptives, including so-called "emergency" contraceptives such as the "Morning After Pill" or "Plan B." The rule requires pharmacists to dispense contraceptives even if doing so violates their religious and ethical beliefs. The lawsuit alleges the governor's rule is void because it violates Mr. Scimio's rights protected by the Illinois Healthcare Right Conscience Act and exceeds the governor's authority under state and federal law.

David Scimio is a pharmacist at Albertsons, a grocery store in Chicago. He is a Christian who believes that human life is sacred and life begins at the moment of conception, and that the destruction of a fertilized human ovum ends a human life. Mr. Scimio, consistent with his Christian beliefs, does not dispense emergency contraceptives, such as the "Morning After Pill" or "Plan B."

Before Governor Blagojevich filed the "emergency rule," Albertsons accommodated Mr. Scimio's religious beliefs by allowing him to refer patients seeking "Plan B" to another pharmacy less than five hundred yards from his store. Albertsons is now required to order Mr. Scimio to comply with Blagojevich's "emergency rule."

"Governor Blagojevich must not be allowed to ignore the law and elevate convenience over individual rights of religious belief and moral conscience," said Litigation Counsel M. Casey Mattox. "We are hopeful that the judicial department of the State of Illinois will fulfill its proper function by restraining the governor from remaking state law in the image of his own personal political viewpoints."

Source: Press Release from the Christian Legal Society




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