Medicine

Walgreens pharmacist denies a woman medication to end her unviable pregnancy

Walgreens pharmacist denies a woman medication to end her unviable pregnancy

After learning her child's development had stopped, Nicole Mone says she chose to take prescription medication to treat her miscarriage.

The pharmacist had asked the mom if she was pregnant, BuzzFeed reported, and when she said yes, he would not sell the meds to her.

Arteaga's doctor gave two options to end the pregnancy: a dilation and curettage procedure, which involves a doctor scraping the tissue out, or a prescription medication that would terminate the pregnancy, according to her post.

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

"I stood at the mercy of this pharmacist explaining my situation in front of my 7-year-old, and five customers behind only to be denied because of his ethic (al) beliefs", she wrote in a Facebook post that as of Saturday evening had already been shared almost 19,000 times and garnered almost 8,000 comments.

Arteaga filed a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy and wants a law enacted that would require pharmacists to fill prescriptions approved by doctors.

But such policies can leave a patient feeling "publicly shamed" said Kelli Garcia, director of reproductive justice initiatives for the National Women's Law Center.

In an unbelievably callous response, Walgreens stated that the action was not against their policy, which allows their pharmacists to "step away from filling a prescription for which they have a moral objection", as long as they refer it to another pharmacist "in a timely manner".

The statement also said that company was "looking into" the incident Arteaga described and that they reached out to her "and apologized for how the situation was handled".

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"I understand we all have our beliefs, but this isn't something I believe in", Arteaga continued.

Arteaga said the he did not explain any further. Hreniuc did not respond to requests for comment, and a Walgreens spokesman said the pharmacist is not speaking with reporters.

"We are looking into the matter to ensure that our patients' needs are handled properly", the statement said. "This is not how I wanted my pregnancy to go, but this is my situation". I can't be the only one who has gone thru this, ' she wrote.

"It's emotional. One day, you think you're having a baby - and slowly finding out over those weeks where I'm praying that maybe today our ultrasound will show something different", Arteaga said.

Kelli Garcia, director of reproductive justice initiatives and senior counsel at the National Women's Law Center, told BuzzFeed News that Arizona is one of six US states where pharmacists can refuse to serve customers on religious or ethical grounds.

"This is something I have zero control over", she posted on Facebook.

"It's not OK to do that to someone", she told Arizona Central.

However when she went to pick up her prescription Mone experienced something "no woman should ever have to go through", especially given the circumstances. "I couldn't control what my body was doing, and now here I am trying to make this decision of what I'm going to do, and this person was taking that away from me, and making that choice for me".

Despite all the trouble, Arteaga said she was thankful for all the support she has received after sharing her story on social media. According to the Arizona Republic, Nicole Arteaga attempted to pick up misoprostol, a drug used for medical abortions, when a pharmacist refused to supply it on the basis of a "moral objection".


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