Melanie Hunter | Senior Editor | Friday, January 27, 2006
Americans United for Life (AUL) said the plaintiffs were asked to sign a paper agreeing to dispense the drug, which they believe can cause abortions in early pregnancies. When they refused to sign the paper, they were terminated. Those firings violated the Illinois Rights of Conscience Act, AUL claimed.
"Walgreens is trampling on the civil rights of employees who are protected from discrimination under Illinois law. These pharmacists were fired because they wouldn't sign away those rights," said Edward Martin, Jr., attorney with Americans United for Life in a statement.
"It's a disgrace that people who have served their company well to be fired because of their moral objection to dispensing an abortion drug," Martin said, noting the "sad irony" in filing the lawsuit "so close to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade."
"These lawsuits, and the firing of these four professionals, is the logical progression of Governor [Rod] Blagojevich's effort to force pharmacists to do as he wills. His attempts to coerce pharmacies into this kind of civil rights abuse are in contradiction with existing law and a gross overreach of the executive branch of government," added Martin.
The lawsuits were filed in Madison County, Ill., on behalf of Kelly Hubble, John Menges, Carol Muzzarelli, and Richard Quayle. The suits seek damages for the company "knowingly violating the law."
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