The Public Square

Allison Jones on access to contraceptives at Illinois pharmacies


I'm Allison Jones, lead organizer for the Campaign for Access to Emergency Contraception at the Champaign County Health Care Consumers.

On Tuesday of this week, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, a committee made up of Illinois legislators, approved Governor Blagojevich's second rule regarding access to contraceptives at the pharmacy. As a result of this rule, it is now required that an informational sign be posted at all Illinois pharmacies. This sign details a woman's rights to contraception, and also provides information for filing a complaint if a woman's rights have been violated. In addition, this sign states that women have the right to have their prescription contraceptives filled without delay or hassle, and if the contraceptive is out of stock, the pharmacy must determine a suitable alternative, order the contraceptive, or transfer the prescription to another pharmacy.

Many women are unaware of their rights at the pharmacy, and posting a sign is a great tool to raise awareness. Contraception should not be controversial, and women should have timely access to the safe medication that their doctors prescribe. With this rule, women will be better able to know their rights, and also speak out if their rights are violated. All women in Illinois should consider this a victory.

The Campaign for Access to Emergency Contraception applauds the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules for approving this important rule. The pharmacy signs are expected to be posted this fall. We hope that all women will take time to notice these signs and educate themselves about their rights.

For more information about the work of the Campaign for Access to Emergency Contraception, call Champaign County Health Care Consumers at 217-352-6533 or email