A complaint filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is alleging that a pharmacist employed by chain store Meijer refused to fill a prescription on religious grounds for a woman who was undergoing a miscarriage.
The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan resident Rachel Peterson went to the emergency room this past June and learned that she had already miscarried one of the twins she was pregnant with — and was told that the other twin was a molar pregnancy, and would thus fail to come to term.
Weeks later, after the second fetus died, she was advised to take the drug misoprostol, which can be prescribed to help miscarriages along more quickly.
She called in the prescription to the Meijer in Petoskey, Michigan, where she and her husband were staying for a weekend getaway. Shortly after calling the prescription in, however, she got a call back from the pharmacist informing her that he would not fill it.
“He said that he was a good Catholic male and that he couldn’t in good conscience give me this medication because it’s used for abortions, and he could not prescribe that,” she explained to the Detroit Free Press. “When I divulged to him that the fetus was no longer viable, and that … 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.”
The pharmacist even refused to transfer the prescription to another local pharmacy, which forced Peterson and her husband to drive three-and-a-half hours back home to their local pharmacy to get it filled.
Peterson and the ACLU are asking Meijer to discipline the employee for refusing to fill her prescription, as they allege that the exact same drug prescribed to a man for the treatment of stomach ulcers would not have been denied.