A woman named Rachel Peterson from Ionia, Michigan, says that a Meijer pharmacist refused to give her medication to complete her miscarriage due to his personal religious beliefs, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Peterson was requesting misoprostol, used to induce labor, to finish a miscarriage after finding out her fetus had died. Before she could get to the store she received a call from the pharmacist, telling her he was a “a good Catholic male” who objected to giving her the medication because “it’s used for abortions” (misoprostol is one of the medications used in the “abortion pill,” the other is mifepristone.) After Peterson explained that the fetus was not viable anymore, he didn’t believe her, and refused to transfer the prescription to a different pharmacy. Thankfully The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sent a letter to Meijer arguing that the pharmacist’s refusal actually violated public accommodation laws.
A Meijer spokesperson declined to comment on the specific incident, but told the Detroit Free Press that pharmacists are allowed to abstain from filling a prescription due to religious beliefs, but they have to ask another pharmacist to do it in their place and to transfer it to a different pharmacy if there is no one else there to help.
This keeps happening, though perhaps not at the same rate as women who are denied the morning-after-pill. A similar incident happened in June of this year with a woman who was denied misoprostol at a Walgreens in Arizona, and in 2015 a woman was turned away at a Walmart pharmacy for the same drug as well.