Published: Sun, October 21, 2018
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Pharmacist who wouldn't fill miscarriage drug is out

Pharmacist who wouldn't fill miscarriage drug is out

A woman who suffered a miscarriage was refused vital medication by a pharmacy in Petoskey, Michigan, because the pharmacist cited religious objections, a letter of complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claims.

In a statement to News 10, the company says the pharmacist "has not been employed by Meijer" since July.

MI couple denied miscarriage medicine over pharmacists' religious beliefs.

While refusing to fill a prescription - particularly one associated with miscarriages - is noteworthy in and of itself, Peterson told the Press that she had already had a particularly distressing lead-up to needing the medication in the first place.

She tried to fill a prescription for a drug called misoprostol (brand name Cytotec) to help her complete that miscarriage.

Peterson, of Ionia, Michigan, was out of town and away from the pharmacy that she usually uses, so she called the pharmacy at Meijer, a 230-store grocery chain located in six Midwestern states.

"I just want people to know that I'm doing this to make sure that people do not have to encounter the same situation that I did", Peterson said.

"While I was talking to her, I was Googling the Meijer pharmacy phone number", Peterson's mother, Nancy Bianchi, told the Free Press. Instead he "berated" Peterson, according to the ACLU.


"When you're at one of the lowest moments of your life, you don't expect this sort of demeaning treatment", Rachel Peterson told the ACLU. "Meijer must implement a policy to ensure that all customers in the future receive their medication without undue delay regardless of the personal beliefs of its pharmacists".

He also declined to let Peterson speak with another pharmacist or to transfer her prescription to another store.

Meijer spokeswoman Christina Fecher didn't say whether the pharmacist has been disciplined.

Meijer says the pharmacist should have allowed someone else to fill the prescription. "I needed to progress the situation further, he said, 'Well, that's your word and I don't believe you, ' and he refused to fill it", she said. "There could be the only pharmacy for hundreds of miles around and that could be very risky for someone".

"It's a hard thing to track because it deals with such a private, personal matter when it does happen", Kovach told Fox News, adding she does "hear stories through the grapevine" about women and members of the LGBT community who are discriminated against by medical professionals. The ACLU of MI is demanding Meijer implement a policy that ensures all pharmacy customers receive their medication without undue delay regardless of the personal beliefs of its pharmacists. "Our client clearly was a victim of sex discrimination". But the ACLU says that's not enough.

Meijer is a Midwestern regional supercenter whose headquarters are in MI.

She and her husband were forced to go back home early, where Rachel reported the incident and filed a complaint to the American Civil Liberties Union of MI.

"A pharmacist may refuse to fill a prescription based upon religious beliefs", the statement from Meijer said. Only several states now have legislation requiring that pharmacists fill all prescriptions, and many states have no related legislation at all. If no other pharmacist is available, the pharmacist must consult with the patient to arrange for the transfer of the prescription to another pharmacy that is convenient to them.

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