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

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

She told the BBC the staff member was "very short, not compassionate at all".

Already a mom to a 7-year-old son, Arteaga, 35, was nine weeks pregnant when her doctor delivered the worst news she could hear.

The baby's development had stopped.

The day before, she learned her pregnancy would end in a miscarriage.

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.

However, the pharmacist refused to sell it to her. The drug, Misoprostol, would cause her uterus to contract and the fetus to come out, WTSP reported. "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".

"I will not tolerate the possibility of one of us, or my children, being denied life-saving medication because some pharmacist with less education than I makes a personal moral call about the medication our DOCTORS feel is warranted".

"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.

"I completely lost it and was in tears". "I couldn't believe what was happening".

As for the pharmacist, she has this message: "Just have compassion for people because you don't know what they're going through", said Arteaga. She says the pharmacist had "ultimately had it transferred to another location that had it in stock after I had left upset".

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When she went to a Walgreens in the city of Peoria to get her prescription, she says a pharmacist refused to serve her on moral grounds - a stance which is within the company's rules.

A representative for Walgreens said someone reached out to Arteaga to apologize for how the situation was handled.

Walgreens' policy allows pharmacists to step away from filling a prescription if they have any moral objections - however, they are still obligated to direct the medication to another pharmacist or manager on duty.

"At the same time, they are also required to refer the prescription to another pharmacist or manager on duty to meet the patient's needs in a timely manner", they noted.

"We are looking into the matter to ensure that our patients' needs are handled properly", the statement said.

"I didn't want to need those pills", Arteaga said.

Nicole Arteaga tells her story, about how a Walgreens employee denied her prescription because it was against his ethics, inside her home in Peoria on June 23, 2018. She was able to pick up the medication with no issues Saturday. Instead, he humiliated a customer who was in a deeply vulnerable position. ".Those guidelines were broken".

After leaving the store in tears, Arteaga said she received an email informing her that the pharmacist had sent her prescription to another Walgreens store nearby.

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 USA states where pharmacists can refuse to serve customers on religious or ethical grounds.

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