Pharmacist denies woman miscarriage drug on moral grounds


Associated Press

PEORIA, ARIZ.

The Arizona State Board of Pharmacy will investigate the complaint of a woman who says a Walgreens pharmacist refused to give her medication necessary to end her pregnancy after her baby stopped developing.

The woman, who the Arizona Republic identified as Nicole Arteaga, described in a viral Facebook post how she was publicly humiliated when attempting to fill the prescription to end her pregnancy – a pregnancy she wanted, but needed to terminate because she would ultimately miscarry. She says the pharmacist refused to fill the prescription with other customers within earshot and she left the location in tears with her 7-year-old child by her side.

Arteaga was able to fill her prescription at a different location later, and filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy.

Kam Gandhi, executive director at the board, said that the agency hasn’t talked to Arteaga or the pharmacist yet, but will aim to do a full investigation before the board’s next meeting in August, Gandhi said.

Arizona is one of six states that permit pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions on moral or religious grounds without requiring a referral or transfer of the prescription, according to the National Women’s Law Center.

The law specifically mentions abortion medication or emergency contraception, and says medical professionals like pharmacists must state their objection in writing.

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