A woman who was prescribed abortion medication after a doctor informed her she will suffer a miscarriage claims she was denied her prescription because of a pharmacist’s beliefs.
Nicole Mone Arteaga said she went to her local Walgreens in Peoria, Arizona, to get a prescription for medication that would end her pregnancy.
She was two months pregnant, but her doctor had told her that her baby’s development had stopped and she was going to miscarry.
Arteaga shared her story in a Facebook post:
Last night I went to pick up my medication at my local Walgreens only to be denied the prescription I need. I stood at the mercy of this pharmacist explaining my situation in front of my 7 year old, and five customers standing behind only to be denied because of his ethical beliefs. I get it we all have our beliefs.
But what he failed to understand is this isn’t the situation I had hoped for, this isn’t something I wanted.
He has no idea what it’s like to want nothing more than to carry a child to full term and be unable to do so.
Arteaga said she left the store 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.
Eventually Arteaga received her prescription. The pharmacist had transferred it to another location.
The Facebook post went viral, with tens of thousands of people expressing outrage and support.
One Facebook user wrote:
This is so heart breaking. That man is in the wrong profession and he violated your right to privacy when he said ANY thing about your prescription and his refusal in front of ANYONE. He violated your rights to medicine. Your doctor prescribed it, not him. He needs to be suspended or go back into ethics training.
Would we be having this conversation if it was someones [sic] insulin? A prescription is a prescription. A Dr said she needed it she should have received it without the drama or hassle of going to another store. This was his job... It's not always easy but every prescription from a licensed Dr should be handed over. Period. His beliefs do not matter.
Others expressed support for the pharmacist:
I'm with the pharmacist. You have to make this decision one time, once. He has to make it over and over, for the rest of his life. He made his decision politely, discreetly, and then referred you to someone who was comfortable with killing a baby. He didn't go blasting it on Facebook, what you're doing now is bullying.
Following the attention the post received, Walgreens responded in a tweet:
Our policy allows pharmacists to step away from filling a prescription for which they have a moral objection. 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.
The company followed up with an additional statement to CNN:
After learning what happened, we reached out to the patient and apologised for how the situation was handled. To respect the sincerely held beliefs of our pharmacists while at the same time meeting the needs of our patients, our policy allows pharmacists to step away from filling a prescription for which they have a moral objection. 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.
indy100 has contacted Walgreens for comment.