Ariz. woman says pharmacist refused to fill miscarriage prescription due to his ethical beliefs
An Arizona woman said a pharmacist refused to give her a miscarriage prescription, citing his “moral objection.”
Nicole Arteaga, 35, said she received the heartbreaking news that she was miscarrying during her 10-week checkup, The Arizona Republic reported Saturday.
A doctor prescribed her with medication to terminate the pregnancy, as the baby’s development had stopped and there was no heartbeat.
When Arteaga went to a Peoria, Ariz., Walgreens to pick up the prescription, the pharmacist refused to fill her medication for her, she said.
“I didn’t want to need those pills,” Arteaga said, according to the news outlet. “This is not how I wanted my pregnancy to go, but this is my situation.”
The pharmacist said he wouldn’t give her the pills because of his ethical beliefs, Arteaga said.
He instructed her to come back the next day or go to another pharmacy, despite the fact that there were other employees working behind the counter, the newspaper reported.
Her husband returned to the store on her behalf and was reportedly met with the same resistance.
“His mind was pretty much made up,” Arteaga said of the pharmacist. “I tried to explain to him. I have to take this medication because it is an undeveloping fetus inside of me and he still refused, standing there silent and looking at me.”
Pharmacists are allowed under company policy to walk away from filling a prescription if they have a moral objection, Walgreens said in a statement on Saturday, according to the news outlet.
Employees are required, however, to have another pharmacist or manager handle the prescription so that the patient’s needs are met “in a timely manner.”
A Walgreens representative said they reached out to Arteaga to apologize but she told The Arizona Republic she only heard from the Peoria store manager after she complained.
Arteaga wrote about the experience in a Facebook post on Friday night and received an outpouring of support.
The post had been shared more than 28,500 times as of Sunday afternoon.
“I don’t have control over my body and I don’t have control of the situation,” Arteaga said.
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