A woman was denied medication for her miscarriage by a Peoria, Arizona Walgreens last week after her baby stopped developing two months into the pregnancy. In a lengthy Facebook post which has now been shared about 35,000 times, Nicole Mone details how she was given two options by her doctor to induce miscarriage: a “D & C” dilation and curettage surgical procedure to remove tissue from the uterus, or or prescription medication that would help induce bleeding and discharge in the comfort of her home. Naturally, she chose the medication.
However when she went to pick up her prescription Mone experienced something “no woman should ever have to go through,” especially given the circumstances.
Last night I went to pick up my medication at my local Walgreens only to be denied the prescription I need. I stood at the mercy of this pharmacist explaining my situation in front of my 7 year old, and five customers standing behind only to be denied because of his ethical beliefs. I get it we all have our beliefs. But what he failed to understand is this isn’t the situation I had hoped for, this isn’t something I wanted. This is something I have zero control over. He has no idea what its like to want nothing more than to carry a child to full term and be unable to do so.
Mone continued that she left the Walgreens in tears, ashamed and humiliated. She also left a one-star review on the Walgreen location’s Yelp page.
Unfortunately, Arizona is one of six states where pharmacists can legally refuse to dispense emergency contraception drugs.
Under state law, Arizona pharmacies must require employees to notify them of drugs they would decline to fill because of “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
“On receiving this notification, the pharmacy must attempt to accommodate the employee if the accommodation can be made without causing undue hardship to the pharmacy or its customers.”
The pharmacist, Brian H., did indeed transfer Mone’s prescription to another Walgreens across town and she was eventually able to pick it up without a problem. She also writes that she contacted the store manager “who did not seem happy about what had happened,” as well as Walgreens corporate office. She also filed a complaint with the Arizona Board of Pharmacy.
Regardless of what happens with Mone’s complaint, the court of public opinion has already spoken and, given the especially cruel circumstances of the situation, Walgreens is getting dragged on social media. The chain has attempted damage control by responding to some of the thousands of angry tweets, but suffice to say it doesn’t seem to be working.
Whether or not the public outcry will be enough for Walgreens to change its policy remains to be seen, but for now, this is not a great look for the company.