Walgreens put four Illinois pharmacists on unpaid leave Monday for refusing to fill prescriptions for the "morning after pill."
The pharmacists say they're standing up for their beliefs. Walgreens says they're violating state law.
The "morning after pill" is also called Plan B. It is often prescribed to prevent or terminate pregnancy.
But pharmacist John Menges says it is the one prescription he won't fill. "I can advise people what pharmacies to go to. I mean, I can help them in every way. But I can't actually fill them because of my religious belief."
For this reason, Walgreens has put Menges and three other pharmacists on indefinite unpaid leave.
One of them asked that we hide his identity since he'll soon be searching for a new job. "I'm not imposing my beliefs on someone else, I'm telling them I choose not to participate in what they're going to do. Now that's not imposing my will on them, it's just saying leave me out of this. On the other hand, they're telling me I have to do this, so they're imposing their will on me."
Illinois has a new law relating to this type of emergency contraceptive. It says that pharmacies must fill these prescriptions and in a timely manner.
Walgreens says this law is forcing them to take drastic action. Spokesman Michael Polzin says, "If a pharmacist refuses to fill a prescription in Illinois, they are putting the pharmacy's license at risk, as well as the pharmacist in charge at that store."
Menges says "my faith and my religion" are more important than a job at Walgreens. We hope he sticks to his guns, because Walgreens has offered him a job at another of its pharmacies. This one's in Missouri.