The Orthodox Union has, for decades, worked to advance the cause of religious freedom in the workplace. As we have often said, no person should be forced to choose between their career and their conscience.
And we have made significant progress on this front – getting laws enacted in New York, New Jersey and elsewhere strengthening the chances for workers to obtain religious accommodations from their employers.
Several years ago, controversy flared over whether pharmacists who might have conscientious objections to dispensing “morning after pills” or birth control prescriptions would have their views addressed by such laws. Although we could unite two senators as diverse as Rick Santorum and John Kerry in defense of religious rights many doctrinaire proponents of an absolutist approach to these issues rejected such a balanced approach. So much so, that the then-Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojavich, issued an executive order mandating all pharmacists dispense all medications no matter their personal concerns. We joined with many others in decrying that order at the time, and lawsuits were planned and undertaken.
Now, an Illinois state judge has ruled in favor of religious liberty – and the pharmacists – and thrown out the executive order.
This is the right result. So long as third parties are not harmed, no one in America should be forced to choose between career and conscience.
Posted by Nathan J. Diament