Pregnancy

Pharmacist Refuses To Fill Prescription For Miscarrying Woman Because Of ‘Personal Belief’

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shutterstock_245853028A Georgia woman who suffered a miscarriage recently was stunned to discover that a pharmacist at her local Walmart could refuse to fill her doctor’s prescription based on the pharmacist’s personal beliefs.

According to WGXA News, Brittany Cartrett was sad to hear from her doctor that she had suffered a miscarriage at five to six weeks along. Given the particulars of Cartrett’s pregnancy, her doctor allegedly told her that she could avoid a D&C by taking a prescription that would cause her body to pass the remaining tissue from her system without surgery. Cartrett decided to do that.

 “So we made the decision to not do a D&C and to get a medicine,” she said. “So he said I’m going to give you this medicine, you’ll take it, and it will help you to pass naturally so that you don’t have to go the more invasive route.”

Cartrett’s doctor reportedly prescribed Misoprostol, which can also be used to cause abortions. It is also frequently prescribed to women who have had miscarriages. But when Cartrett’s doctor’s office called the Milledgeville, Georgia, Walmart to fill the prescription, the pharmacist allegedly simply said no and did not clarify.

Cartrett was fortunate to be able to go to a different pharmacy for her prescription, but had to go to the original Walmart for a different prescription. While there, she says she asked the pharmacist why the Misoprostol order had been refused.

“And she looks at my name and she says oh, well … I couldn’t think of a valid reason why you would need this prescription,” Cartrett said.

Besides the fact that a pharmacist who does not know that a drug is frequently prescribed to women having miscarriages does not sound like a very good pharmacist, it turns out that pharmacists in Georgia have been allowed to refuse to fill prescriptions based on their personal beliefs for the past 15 years.

Brian Nick from Walmart headquarters told WGXA, “Our pharmacists fill prescriptions on a case by case basis every day in our stores throughout the country and we encourage them to exercise their professional judgment in doing so.”

Cartrett said she was bothered by the service, because she had made a choice between her and her doctor, and she worried, “what other decisions are they making based on our health and our needs by not giving a prescription to someone who may or may not need it?”

Cartrett posted about her experience on social media, and she told WGXA that she had since heard from several other women who said they had similar experiences. One woman reportedly told Cartrett that while she was having a miscarriage she had to visit five different pharmacies before she could find a pharmacist willing to fill her prescription. That would be awful. Not only was she going through a miscarriage, she was being judged and turned away by pharmacies. Considering how many women feel unnecessary guilt during miscarriages, they certainly don’t need to be shamed on top of it.

Mercer University law professor told WGXA that some other states have similar laws that allow pharmacists to opt out of filling prescriptions for personal belief reasons, but that also encourage pharmacies to keep other pharmacists on-call who can fill such a prescription if an on-duty pharmacist will not, but that is not the case in Georgia.

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