Pharmacist denies woman miscarriage drug on moral grounds


Ms Mone Arteaga says she walked into her local Walgreens in Peoria, a town in the USA state of Arizona, with her seven-year-old son only to have pharmacist Brian Hreniuc refuse to fill her prescription because he is anti-abortion. "I understand if you don't want to fill that, but you go the extra mile, make a couple phone calls", said Luke.

Her doctor prescribed her a medication to end the pregnancy, but she says the pharmacist turned her away.

"I stood at the mercy of this pharmacist explaining my situation in front of my 7-year-old, and five customers behind only to be denied because of his ethic (al) beliefs", she wrote in a Facebook post that as of Saturday evening had already been shared almost 19,000 times and garnered almost 8,000 comments. "I am in left in disbelief on how this can happen?"

"I'm already going through something so emotional, and I just want to get my medicine and go". "I applaud this pharmacist and am glad Walgreens protects his conscience rights and wish more pharmacists would have the courage to stand for their convictions, especially if a life is at risk".

"I had a hard time getting to sleep with all these thoughts going through my mind about how a person could control or have control over something that I needed for my well being", she told Buzzfeed News.

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What happened next left Ms Mone Arteaga distraught and furious and her account of the incident has been shared on Facebook more than 30,000 times, liked more than 50,000 times and generated 14,0000 comments.

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.

The woman went to Walgreens in Peoria, roughly 13 miles northwest of Phoenix, to pick up her prescription, but said the pharmacist refused to give her the meds. So, she went to her local Walgreens in Arizona, prescription in hand, to purchase Misoprostol, a medication that causes a medical abortion.

Mone told WTSP that she contacted the corporate office and was told that she could pick up her prescription at another Walgreens.

She learned the pharmacist who denied her the medication had her prescription transferred to the second location.

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Though the stores' employees are allowed to opt out of fulfilling prescriptions that they have a moral objection to, they are required to hand the order off to someone else to fill, the company said in a statement obtained by HuffPost.

Walgreens said it would be providing additional training to all of its pharmacists on how to appropriately handle such situations.

Arizona is one of six states that allows pharmacies or pharmacists to refuse filling prescriptions on religious or moral grounds, according to the National Women's Law Center. Walgreens said it is looking into how the case was handled. "We are looking into the matter to ensure that our patients' needs are handled properly".

In Arizona, it is still legal for a pharmacist to refuse to fill prescriptions based on religious or moral beliefs.

Klieman pointed to 2016 when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review Washington state's law requiring pharmacists to provide emergency contraceptives to women.

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"Last night I experienced something no woman should ever have to go thru [sic]", posted Arteaga, a teacher. The drugstore chain said in a statement that the employee had acted within company guidelines and Arizona law.