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A Walgreens Pharmacist Denied a Woman's Prescription for Medication
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A Walgreens Pharmacist Denied a Woman's Prescription for Medication

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photo: Instagram/Nicole Arteaga

PEORIA, ARIZONA – June 24, 2018

In Arizona, a Walgreens pharmacist refused to fill a prescription for medication that would end the pregnancy because he thought it was unethical. 

Arteaga, 35, a school teacher from Peoria, Arizona, told BuzzFeed News that she was nine weeks pregnant when her doctor told her last week that her baby had stopped growing and didn't have a heartbeat. The doctor gave Arteaga three options: to perform a medical procedure to remove the dead fetus, wait for nature to take its course, or take prescription drugs to help her body release the deceased unborn child.  She decided to take the medication. But when she went to the Walgreens near her home to pick it up, the pharmacist asked if she was pregnant. When she said yes, he refused to sell it to her.

She stood humiliated, as the pharmacist said, he would not give her a prescription because of his own ethical convictions.

"He has no idea what its like to want nothing more than to carry a child to full term and be unable to do so. If you have gone thru a miscarriage, you know the pain and emotional roller it can be," Nicole Arteaga, wrote in her post. "I left Walgreens in tears, ashamed and feeling humiliated by a man who knows nothing of my struggles but feels it is his right to deny medication prescribed to me by my doctor."

Arteaga tried calling her doctor after leaving the pharmacy in tears.

The pharmacist arranged for her to pick up the misoprostol the next day at another Walgreens location.

"After hearing what happened, we apologized to the patient for  how the situation was handled, and to respect the honest beliefs of our pharmacists while meeting the needs of our patients, our policy allows pharmacists At the same time, you must submit a prescription for which you have a moral objection, and at the same time, you must give the prescription in good time to another pharmacist or manager who meets the patient's needs. The needs of our patients are treated properly, " James W. Graham, senior manager of media relations for the pharmacy chain said in a statement from Walgreens.

Arteaga filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy. She stands for a law that obliges pharmacies to fill medically approved prescriptions. Arizona is one of six states in the US where it is legal for a pharmacist to refuse prescriptions related to contraception if it conflicts with their religious or moral beliefs and cases like this are not uncommon. Arteaga believes that it’s not a pharmacists business to decide what medical care a patient gets and that the decision should be between a person and their a doctor.

Author: USA Really