Michigan Pharmacist Refuses Prescription for Woman Having a Miscarriage

Michigan Pharmacist Refuses Prescription for Woman Having a Miscarriage October 18, 2018

Rachel Peterson was having a miscarriage and her doctor prescribed misoprostol, a drug also used to treat stomach ulcers that can be used, with another drug, to induce an abortion. A pharmacist at Meijer refused to fill the prescription on religious grounds and refused to transfer the prescription to another store. The ACLU is demanding punishment for the pharmacist and a clear policy from Meijer on such issues.

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An Ionia woman is demanding that Meijer discipline a Petoskey pharmacist and implement a company-wide policy for how pharmacists should handle religious and moral objections to dispensing medication after she was denied a prescription to help complete a miscarriage…

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sent a letter Tuesday on Peterson’s behalf to Meijer, saying what the pharmacist did was discriminatory and violated the state’s public accommodation laws.

“I think it’s very clear in this case that had Rachel been a man seeking this exact same medication for stomach ulcers, she wouldn’t have been turned away for the same reason,” said Merissa Kovach, a policy strategist for the ACLU of Michigan. “So Rachel was denied this based on the personal beliefs of this pharmacist and then also because she’s a woman.

“Unfortunately in Michigan, we don’t have an explicit state law that goes so far as to protect patients like Rachel,” she said. “What we would hope is that Meijer and other pharmacies would agree that they’re allowed to accommodate the personal beliefs of their employees, but that accommodation cannot include permitting discriminatory denials of care that burden patients and customers.

This should be really easy: If you can’t do your job and fill the prescription, you need to find a new line of work. It isn’t your job to make personal religious judgments about the customer, it’s to serve the customer. Imagine if a Muslim clerk at a department store refused to sell skirts or jeans to women because he has a religious objection to doing so. He’d be fired, and he damn well should be. And the same people who support this pharmacist would be screaming holy hell over it and how this was the beginning of the imposition of Sharia law in America.

But denying a medical prescription is far more serious than refusing to sell someone a skirt. Lives are at stake here. someone could die because some religious nut refuses to do their job. Fire him and tell every other pharmacist that if they ever refuse to fill a prescription, they’ll be fired too. Meijer is also my pharmacy. If they don’t fix this, I may take my business elsewhere (and that’s a whole lot of money for them).

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