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Conservative group files religious discrimination complaint against Walgreen's


St. Louis – A public-interest group says Walgreen's engaged in religious discrimination by placing Illinois pharmacists on unpaid leave for refusing to fill emergency contraception prescriptions.

The American Center for Law and Justice made the allegations Wednesday in a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in St. Louis. The filing is a standard first step toward a lawsuit.

Three pharmacists went on unpaid leave November 28 after refusing to fill requests for the morning-after pill on religious and moral grounds.

Walgreen's spokeswoman Tiffani Bruce says Illinois law requires pharmacists to fill emergency contraception prescriptions.

She says the pharmacists also have refused to accept Walgreen's offer to find them work in Missouri, which does not have a rule about filling emergency contraception prescriptions.