Tuesday, June 26, 2018

An Arizona woman needed a drug to induce a miscarriage. Her pharmacist refused.

Vox - All by Jen Kirby 

Arizona is one of a handful of states that lets pharmacists raise ethical objections to prescriptions.

An Arizona woman who was having a miscarriage said a pharmacist at a local Walgreens store refused to issue her a prescription on Saturday because of ethical objections — an incident that’s put a spotlight on pharmacists’ ability to refuse to serve patients.

The woman, Nicole Mone Arteaga, detailed the encounter in a Facebook post. Arteaga’s doctor had been monitoring her pregnancy and found her nine-week-old fetus had no heartbeat and that she would miscarry. Her doctor prescribed a medication: misoprostol, an FDA-approved drug that induces an abortion.

But Arteaga said when she went to pick up the medication, she was denied it because of the pharmacist’s “ethical beliefs.”

“I get it we all have our beliefs,” she wrote on Facebook. “But what he failed to understand is this isn’t the situation I had hoped for, this isn’t something I wanted. This is something I have zero control over. He has no idea what its [sic] like to want nothing more than to carry a child to full term and be unable to do so.”

Arizona is one of a handful of states with a law that allows pharmacists or pharmacies to object to filling particular prescriptions on religious or moral grounds. Arizona’s law, according to Kelli Garcia, director of reproductive justice at the National Women’s Law Center, is specific to emergency contraception, but also lacks affirmative protections for patients.

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