Pharmacist Allegedly Refused To Fill Teen’s IUD-Related Prescription
M.S.’s daughter, who was twelve at the time, had a period that wasn’t going away with other birth control methods, so her doctor suggested she get an IUD, according to a statement from the ACLU of New Mexico. The doctor prescribed three medications to help the IUD insertion go more smoothly— a pain reliever, an anti-anxiety medication, and Misoprotol —but Garrett said he was only able to fill two of the three and M.S. would need to go to another Walgreens for the third.
He allegedly refused to fill the Misoprotol, which is used to treat stomach ulcers, but is also often prescribed for reproductive health, such as inducing an abortion and to soften the cervix prior to an IUD insertion.
When M.S. later asked Garrett why he couldn’t fill the prescription, she was told that they did have the pill at the store but that particular pharmacist wouldn’t fill the prescription due to “personal beliefs.”
He told her that he “had a pretty good idea” why her daughter needed the medication, insinuating that she either needed to have an abortion or that she was getting an IUD for sexual activity.
But it wasn’t the insinuation that had M.S. and her daughter fuming — it was the judgement and the fact that he felt justified to refuse young girls like her necessary medication based on discriminatory personal beliefs.
Although her daughter was able to access the medication she needed through another Walgreen’s store, M.S. had to drive out of her way that night to get it, and she and her daughter have lost their trust in pharmacists, according to the ACLU statement.
(Link): Pharmacist Allegedly Refused To Fill Teen’s IUD-Related Prescription by C. Pearson, June 2017
Just before she was slated to get an IUD last summer, a teenage girl in New Mexico was prescribed three medications by her doctor: a pain-reliever, an anti-anxiety medication and Misoprotol, the generic name for a drug that is used to treat stomach ulcers, but sometimes used to prep the cervix before an IUD is placed, particularly in women who have never been pregnant. It is also one of the two medications that, taken together, make up what is commonly known as the “abortion pill.”
But when the girl’s mother went to her local Walgreens, only the prescriptions for the mild pain reliever and anti-anxiety medication had been filled. When she asked why, she was allegedly told that Misoprotol was in stock, but the pharmacist on duty would not fill it because of his “personal beliefs.”
On June 2, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and Southwest Women’s Law Center filed two complaints on behalf of the teenager and her mother, arguing that the pharmacist’s refusal to fill the prescription constitutes sex discrimination. The (Link): complaint claims it is “inconceivable” that the pharmacist would have denied service if he believed the medication was being used to treat stomach ulcers—the only reason why a man might get such a prescription.
…The girl’s mother (Link): previously explained to the Albuquerque Journal that her daughter had been prescribed the IUD to help manage difficult period symptoms.