Pharmacist who wouldn’t fill miscarriage drug is out

Leslie Hanson
October 20, 2018

The American Civil Liberties Union of MI today filed a complaint with Meijer after a pharmacist refused to fill a customer's prescription that was medically necessary to treat her miscarriage. She didn't say whether he was sacked from the Petoskey store in northern MI.

Rachel Peterson said she was denied prescribed medication to help with a miscarriage because the pharmacist said it was against his religious beliefs. Misoprostol can also be used to induce labor, treat ulcers and terminate a pregnancy.

In a statement to News 10, the company says the pharmacist "has not been employed by Meijer" since July. When she told him she needed it to help with her miscarriage, the pharmacist allegedly said he didn't believe her. A Meijer pharmacist hours away in Ionia agreed to fill the prescription.

"When you're at one of the lowest moments in your life, you don't expect this sort of demeaning treatment", Peterson said in a statement.

Peterson explained that her doctor had said her fetus was not viable and she was not using the medication because she wanted an abortion. The ACLU says the medication was crucial to take in a timely manner to avoid Peterson needing a more invasive surgical procedure.

"Our client clearly was a victim of sex discrimination", said ACLU of MI policy strategist Merissa Kovach. She was initially told that the prescription her doctor had called in would be filled. "Our client clearly was a victim of sex discrimination". But the ACLU says that's not enough.


Meijer, which owns 250 stores in the midwest, said in a statement that Kalkman's employment ended shortly after the incident but would not say whether he was sacked. "A pharmacy should not be able to deny patients medication prescribed by their doctors based on the personal beliefs of a particular employee".

Christina Fecher, a spokeswoman for Meijer, told Fox News it has received the ACLU's complaint but declined to comment on the specific allegations because of federal and state privacy laws.

They said the store recognizes "the right of a pharmacist to abstain from filling a prescription based on his or her religious beliefs, but the pharmacist is required to have another Meijer pharmacist fill the prescription or, if no other pharmacist is available at that time, to transfer the script to another pharmacy convenient to the customer". "However, our procedure requires the prescription to then be filled by another pharmacist in the store". This is consistent with the American Pharmacy Association and the Michigan Pharmacy Association Guidelines.

The ACLU says the actions of the pharmacist was discriminatory and violated Michigan's public accommodations laws.

In 29 other states, there are no laws addressing the issue.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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