Walmart uses Georgia ‘conscience clause’ to refuse woman’s miscarriage treatment
A Georgia woman is accusing Walmart of taking advantage of state law to refuse to fill out prescriptions helping her and others deal with miscarriages.
WGXA-TV reported that Brittany Cartrett was turned away while seeking a prescription for Misoprostol at her local store.
Her doctor recommended she take the drug after she miscarried about five weeks into her pregnancy, enabling her to avoid undergoing a more invasive procedure. But Misoprostol can also be used with Mifepristone to end a pregnancy in its early stages. She suspects that it was for that reason that the store refused her prescription without providing a reason.
While she was able to obtain the medication somewhere else, she brought the issue up again when visiting the store to fill out a separate prescription.
“She looks at my name and she says ‘Oh, well, I couldn’t think of a valid reason why you would need this prescription,'” Cartrett said. “I tell her my reasons for needing it, and she says ‘Well, I don’t feel like there is a reason why you would need it, so we refused to fill it.'”
A pharmacist for the store, Sandip Patel, told WGXA that under state law, pharmacists are able to turn down prescriptions. A Walmart spokesperson said the company encourages its pharmacists to “use their professional judgement” on a case-by-case basis.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the Georgia law, which states that pharmacists “shall not be required to fill a prescription for an emergency contraceptive drug,” is part of some states’ response to the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade verdict legalizing abortions.
“The issue is expanding as pharmacists are refusing to fill emergency contraception and contraception prescriptions,” the NCLS stated. “This movement resulted in the term ‘conscience clause,’ which gives pharmacists the right to refuse to perform certain services based on a violation of personal beliefs or values. Most of the debate revolves around a pharmacist dispensing emergency contraception.
Cartrett shared her story online, saying she felt like the pharmacist was judging her — and thus, refusing to help her — because of a negative view of abortions. She also told WGXA that she has been contacted by women in similar circumstances who have also been turned away.
“I’m not going to see that pharmacist, I’m going to see a doctor,” she said. “If its because of that due to the conscience clause, I think its called, then what other decisions are they making based on our health and our needs by not giving a prescription to someone who may or may not need it?”
Watch WGXA’s report, as posted online, below.
[h/t Addicting Info]