An Arizona mother who was told by her doctors that her baby had stopped developing and she would ultimately miscarry said in a heartbreaking Facebook post that a Walgreens pharmacist refused to fill her prescription for medication that would end her pregnancy because he thought it was unethical. She chose the latter. "I stood at the mercy of this pharmacist, explaining the situation in front of my 7-year-old, and five customers standing behind only to be denied because of his ethical beliefs", Arteaga wrote her post.
"I get it, we all have our beliefs". "This is not how I wanted my pregnancy to go, but this is my situation".
But when a Walgreens pharmacist denied her the pills that would terminate the pregnancy, she felt the need to share the story with others on Facebook through her account, Nicole Mone.
Arteago said she left Walgreens without her prescription.
"It's emotional. One day, you think you're having a baby - and slowly finding out over those weeks where I'm praying that maybe today our ultrasound will show something different", Arteaga said.
"After learning what happened, we reached out to the patient and apologized for how the situation was handled", the company stated.
"Our policy allows pharmacists to step away from filling a prescription for which they have a moral objection", a Walgreens tweet read.
Employees are required, however, to have another pharmacist or manager handle the prescription so that the patient's needs are met "in a timely manner".
Nancy Berlinger, a research scholar at the Hastings Center, an independent bioethics research institution, said that so-called conscience clauses have been established law for years.
Under Arizona law, the pharmacist does not have to refer the customer to another pharmacy, Klieman said, but Walgreens required it as part of the company policy.
"I was shocked", Arteaga tells the New York Times.
A pregnant woman in Peoria, Arizona, was reportedly refused medication to induce a miscarriage by a pharmacist at a local Walgreens, the woman reported on social media.
The name on the business card that Ms. Arteaga photographed, Brian Hreniuc, is included in a directory of licensed pharmacists in Arizona.
Arteaga disputed the company's statement, saying the only time she spoke to anyone from the company was when she called the manager of the Peoria store to complain.
The Arizona State Board of Pharmacy announced on Monday that it plans to investigate what happened with Arteaga.
Eight states - California, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, Washington and Wisconsin - have laws requiring pharmacists to provide medication to patients. "He was not compassionate at all", she said.
Arteaga first shared her frustrations online Thursday night by writing a review for the Walgreens pharmacy on Yelp. "I can't be the only one who has gone thru this". According to her, Walgreens didn't reach out to her. Arteaga said she reached out to them. "I couldn't control what my body was doing and now here I am trying to make my decision and what I'm going to do, and this person was taking that away from me and making that choice for me". One person left the Peoria store a one-star review on Yelp, writing that "the fact that Walgreens would employ someone like this that can not put their beliefs aside for the HEALTHCARE of another human being is deplorable".