A teen girl in New Mexico was refused an IUD due to her pharmacist’s ‘personal beliefs’ on birth control. Now, her mother is fighting back, claiming that her daughter is being ‘discriminated’ against. With Donald Trump’s new contraception policies, could you be refused birth control by your pharmacist?
A teenage girl, 13, who was prescribed an intrauterine device [IUD], to help relieve the symptoms of painful periods was refused the device by a Walgreens pharmacist, who claimed that fulfilling birth control prescriptions was against his “personal beliefs.” Her mother is protesting and with Donald Trump, 70, reportedly about to make it legal for pharmacists to refuse to fulfill birth control prescriptions, a lot of women, including you, could end up in this situation too. [An IUD is a small, t-shaped piece of plastic, inserted into the uterus to provide birth control. It can also make periods lighter and less painful.]
After visiting her doctor, the teenager was also prescribed anti-anxiety medication, a pain reliever, and the hormone, misoprostol, which softens the cervix to make IUD insertion easier. When her mother went to Walgreens, June 2, to fill the three prescriptions, the pharmacist, Jesse Garrett, allegedly refused to fill the misoprostol because of his opinions on birth control. The controversial pharmacist reportedly told the girl’s mother that she could pick up the misoprostol at another Walgreens, despite the medication being available there. [Misoprostol can also induce abortions].
The mother began to drive to another Walgreens before she turned her car around to challenge the pharmacist’s awful actions, she told the Albuquerque Journal. “I told him he was discriminating against me, that he should be ashamed for judging us, that he didn’t know my daughter’s medical history or her complications or conversation with her doctor. That he didn’t know what the medication was for,” M.S. argued. “And he just looks at me and says, ‘Oh, I have a pretty good idea.’” Wow.
After an unpleasant exchange with the pharmacist, the mother decided to take further action to fight for her daughter’s rights. She teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and the Southwest Women’s Law Center to file two complaints, where she identified herself M.S. Read the ACLU’s complaint below:
“M.S. understood Mr. Garrett’s denial of services to be based on his assumption that her daughter would use the medication for a reproductive health purpose to which he was personally opposed. Indeed, the medication was prescribed to assist with a contraceptive procedure that only women receive. It is inconceivable that the same denial of service would have occurred if Mr. Garrett had assumed that the medication would be used to treat stomach ulcers — the only indicated usage for men. In other words, had the patient been a man, rather than M.S.’s daughter, it is reasonable to assume that the prescription would have been filled at this location without delay.”
Women, you can find yourself in this particular situation. A Walgreens representative attempted to defend it’s employee’s extreme actions when they told Yahoo! Beauty that its policy allows pharmacists to “step away from a transaction to which they may have a moral objection.” Nonetheless, it also “requires the pharmacist or other employee to refer the transaction to another employee or manager on duty to complete the customer’s request.” Therefore, you can be refused a birth control prescription request, but you should be helped by another employee. Unfortunately, according to the teen’s mother, that did not happen in this situation.
Walgreens seemed to have recognized the severity of its employee’s actions, because the company also vowed to “work closely with the ACLU of New Mexico to address its concerns.” They claimed to review it’s policies and “retrain all of our pharmacists and store leadership in New Mexico on policies and procedures relating to conscientious objection.”
This shocking story came just five days after a controversial contraception proposal by President Donald Trump, 70, and his administration was leaked on May 31. The new rule revealed that nearly all employers can request an exemption to birth control coverage by citing religious or moral reasons, according to Vox. The outlandish proposal means that women who were covered under Obama‘s Affordable Care Act, may have to pay out of pocket for their contraception needs.
And, as seen below, the ACLU plans to take immediate action against the president.
If President Trump proceeds with rule on contraceptive coverage as announced, he will once again see us in court. https://t.co/MzyAcorlYV
— ACLU National (@ACLU) June 5, 2017
HollywoodLifers, what do you think of the pharmacist’s actions?