Judge puts hold on morning after pill rule

By Arnold Wyrick - bio | email

(KFVS) - Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich in 2005 issued a rule prohibiting pharmacies from turning away women seeking emergency contraception, sometimes called the morning-after pill.

But, on Monday a Sagamon County judge put a hold on that previous ruling.  The pill reduces the chance of pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of sexual contact.

"I think that it's the woman's right to choose if she feels she should get the morning after pill, she should get it.  But medically if it would interfere with different factors then the pharmacist has the right to intervene," said Sarah O'Daniel of Carbondale.

The pharmacist at Logan Primary Pharmacy agrees there are times a pharmacist should be able to decide what's right for a woman.

"There are several health concerns that could come up when filling this type of prescription.  And without having that judgement call in the pharmacist's behalf that really could pose a significant health problem to that patient," said pharmacist Ben Calcaterra.

Some of the Illinois pharmacist who challenged the former governor's mandate believe it was a tantamount to abortion.

"I don't think it's a good decision from a woman's perspective because I feel like there's a lot of situations a woman can be in that make them have to take the Plan B pill," said Kellie Close of Carbondale.  "For instance, if they were sexually assaulted."

"I'm not in favor of it," said Emily Teitelbaum of Carbondale.  "It brings in the pharmacists' religious beliefs, backgrounds and personal choices that can kind of sway their decision on giving the Plan B pill to a woman."

The final decision on this issue will now rest in the hands of the Illinois Supreme Court.

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