Washington D.C., Sep 25, 2012 / 11:09 am
An Illinois appeals court's ruling on the conscience rights of pharmacists is being hailed as a victory for religious freedom and could offer hope to current lawsuits challenging the federal contraception mandate.
"Government can't force pharmacists and pharmacies to violate their religious beliefs to stay in business," said Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has been co-representing the pharmacists for seven years.
Rienzi told CNA on Sept. 24 that the ruling provides a "useful" parallel in examining the controversial Health and Human Services mandate that forces many religious employers to violate their sincere beliefs by providing health insurance coverage of contraception, sterilization and early abortion drugs.
"I think the same principle would apply," he said.