September 23, 2018

Walgreens pharmacist denied mother medication to end pregnancy because of his beliefs

27 June 2018, 07:50 | Rodolfo Wallace

A Peoria woman is going public after she says a Walgreens pharmacist denied her a medication to end a pregnancy

A Peoria woman is going public after she says a Walgreens pharmacist denied her a medication to end a pregnancy

If you have gone thru a miscarriage you know the pain and emotional roller it can be.

An Arizona woman is putting a public spotlight on a Walgreen's pharmacist who she says wouldn't give her a prescription to end her pregnancy.

Instead, Arteaga was turned away, without the medicine she needed.

The Walgreens pharmacy where Nicole Arteaga was allegedly refused medication by a pharmacist.

"I don't have control over my body and I don't have control of the situation", Arteaga said.

A pregnant woman in Peoria, Arizona, was reportedly refused medication to induce a miscarriage by a pharmacist at a local Walgreens, the woman reported on social media. ".I was completely shocked".

After she was denied service at the pharmacy, she says she received an email notification saying her prescription was ready for pick-up at another location across town.

"I was having an undeveloped fetus with no heartbeat and so ultimately was going to have a miscarriage", she told AZ Family.

When Nicole Mone Arteaga discovered she was pregnant again after a recent miscarriage, she couldn't have been more excited.

"I think it's happening more than people realize", she said.

According to Arteaga, that was not this case in her situation.

But, Arteaga said the corporate statement wasn't entirely true. Despite two other pharmacists working behind the counter, she said, he told her she could come back the next night or go to another pharmacy to see if they would fill the prescription. "Thank you to those who have shown love and support", she said. "I tried to explain to him". This man has no idea what it's like to be women trying to have a baby only to learn your body just won't make it full term.

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The pharmacist "had it transferred to another location", she wrote, and she was able to retrieve it from that location "with no problems". Nonetheless, they are required to refer the prescription to the manager or another pharmacist.

Walgreens said in a statement Monday that it is looking into the matter "to ensure our patients' needs are handled properly".

"After learning what happened, we reached out to the patient and apologized for how the situation was handled", Walgreens said. And, even if they refused too, she said there was surely a manager at the store to help.

Arteaga has filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy.

Eight states - California, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, Washington and Wisconsin - have laws requiring pharmacists to provide medication to patients.

"Arizona is one of multiple states with a "conscience clause" law that allows health care providers to refrain from assisting in abortion, abortion medication or emergency contraception".

But, according to the National Women's Law Center, the pharmacist was within his rights.

In Arizona, pharmacists can step away from filling prescriptions or contraceptive supplies based on their moral or religious beliefs.

If customers ask for drugs not in stock, the pharmacy must make efforts to ensure the script is filled in a timely fashion.

Her post has since been shared more than 25,000 times and pulled in 10,000 comments and counting. Her account of the episode on Facebook prompted calls to boycott the company.

Arteaga said the pharmacist told her he couldn't do it for ethical reasons. "Maybe educate the pharmacist on how to better handle situations like this where their beliefs aren't compromised and the customer can still get what they need", she said.

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