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Pharmacies in Illinois may have to post signs on state's contraceptive rules

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Illinois pharmacies soon could be required to post the state's rules over how contraceptives are dispensed.

Since last year Illinois has required pharmacies that carry contraceptives to dispense them without delay.

Some pharmacists have moral objections to dispensing emergency contraception.

Brigid Leahy is vice president of the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council. She says despite last year's rule some women have still encountered problems getting the pills.

"This way if the sign is up there on the wall she knows she has a right to get the prescription, or she knows she has the right to get the prescription back so she can go to another pharmacy, and if somehow she has been mistreated," Leahy said.

While the Illinois Pharmacists Association supported last year's rule requiring pharmacies that to sell contraceptives to dispense them in a timely fashion.

But executive director Michael Patton says the association opposes the proposed sign requirement. Patton says putting signs up explaining the contraceptive dispensation rule would put the onus on pharmacists not pharmacy management.

"Now as we see it if a woman comes in and presents a prescription and for some reason if she doesn't feel satisfied by the reaction or response of the pharmacist on duty, then that pharmacist is going to receive a complaint," Patton said. "It's not going to go against the pharmacy necessarily but against that given pharmacist."

Supporters of the rule say that the signs are meant to inform women of their rights.

A hearing on the rule was held at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Friday. A legislative committee is considering the rule.