A 26-year-old Missouri woman was refused EC [emergency contraception] when she handed her prescription to a pharmacist at a Target store in Fenton, MO, on September 30. The woman was told by the pharmacist, “I won’t fill it. It’s my right not to fill it.” She was told that she could go to a local Walgreens instead. The woman said, “When the pharmacist told me she wouldn’t [fill the prescription], I went from disbelief to shock to anger. I guess I’m still pretty angry. It seems unbelievable to me that a medical professional could/would deny access to a federally approved drug and impose their personal beliefs in a professional setting. I am also grateful that I did not need it filled at that time. I don’t know how it would be if I had just been raped or if the condom broke and I was a feeling confusion and panic anyway — and then was denied access and told to go across the street.”
This is not the first time that a pharmacist has chosen to exercise their mistaken belief that they have the right to impose their morality on other people through their profession. However, it’s quite clear except to the most obtuse that a pharmacist is not empowered by any statute or code of ethics to intervene between a doctor and a patient in the treatment through the legal prescription of medicine. If someone has a problem with that, they have spent a lot of time and money to go into the wrong profession; they should either go to medical school and get an M.D. or if they wish to mix religion with medicine, they should get out the business and become a witch-doctor (no offense to any witch-doctors in the audience…)
Kenneth at T. Rex has some very cogent thoughts on the case in terms of discrimination against women.