Woman says Walgreens pharmacist refused to fill prescription to end her pregnancy

Ebony Scott
June 27, 2018

Nicole Arteaga's doctor told her Tuesday that the two-month old baby she was carrying had stopped breathing due to developmental abnormalities, and was given the choice of terminating the pregnancy through surgery or prescription medication.

With her 7-year-old son in tow, she had gone to pick up dinner, choose a movie and then pick up her prescription, the Arizona Central reported.

"I stood at the mercy of this pharmacist explaining my situation in front of my 7-year-old, and five customers behind only to be denied because of his ethic (al) beliefs", she wrote in a Facebook post that as of Saturday evening had already been shared almost 19,000 times and garnered almost 8,000 comments.

"I get it we all have our beliefs", Arteaga wrote in her Facebook post, which also included a photo of the pharmacist's business card. "This is by no means a prescription that I want but one that I need".

An Arizona woman said a pharmacist refused to give her a miscarriage prescription, citing his "moral objection".

The statement also said that company was "looking into" the incident Arteaga described and that they reached out to her "and apologized for how the situation was handled".

Though the stores' employees are allowed to opt out of fulfilling prescriptions that they have a moral objection to, they are required to hand the order off to someone else to fill, the company said in a statement obtained by HuffPost. Nonetheless, they are required to refer the prescription to the manager or another pharmacist. "We are looking into the matter to ensure that our patients" needs are handled properly'.

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What happened in Arizona is a case study in what could go wrong, they said.

Under state law, Arizona pharmacies must require employees to notify them of drugs they would decline to fill because of "sincerely held religious beliefs". "I don't see why she doesn't respect the pharmacist's right to not do this", he said. Her doctor earlier told her she will have miscarriage.

Nicole Arteaga, a first-grade teacher who lives in Peoria, Ariz., had a Walgreens pharmacist deny her medication that had been prescribed for a failed pregnancy.

But when she tried to get the medication from her local Walgreens on Thursday, the pharmacist asked whether she was pregnant.

She ultimately received the prescription on Friday, after contacting her doctor for added assistance, but the experience left her embarrassed, humiliated and wondering what other drugs ― such as birth control and morning-after pills ― this pharmacist has denied to people, she said.

"The world felt like it was closing in and I was thinking, this is my body and I'm losing control", she said. "After waking up in the morning I realized that this is something that is not OK, and that I wanted people to know". "I couldn't control the fact that my body wasn't going to support this pregnancy, and I wanted this baby". I share this story because I wish no other women have to go thru something like this at a time when you are vulnerable and already suffering. When she replied that she was, he refused to sell her the medication. Currently, Arizona law allows pharmacies to refuse to process prescriptions for religious or moral reasons.

"Does it have to be presented to the patient, does it have to be at the store, or does it have to be in the pharmacist's personnel file?" he said. I'm having all my prescriptions, my husbands prescriptions, my daughter's prescriptions and my elderly mother's prescriptions elsewhere.

Other reports by GizPress

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