Woman files lawsuit after pharmacist refuses to fill morning-after pill prescription

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MINNEAPOLIS — A rural Minnesota woman says a pharmacist refused to fill her prescription for the morning-after pill, WCCO reports.

Andrea Anderson and her partner have been together for ten years, “We have a phenomenal child together and that’s how I want to leave it.”

Last January the northern Minnesota couple who are also foster parents ran into an issue.

“We had our regular contraception fail so I had to find out about emergency contraception. I called my doctor’s office,” said Anderson.

Anderson’s doctor wrote a prescription for Ella but she says the pharmacist at Thrifty White, the only pharmacy in McGregor, refused to fill it.

“He said, ‘I don’t feel comfortable, that goes against what I believe,’ and all a sudden it clicked and I said what,” Anderson explained.

Anderson says the pharmacist said another pharmacist may help her out, but with a snowstorm coming, it wasn’t certain. She said the CVS in Aitkin brushed her off as well.

Ultimately Walgreen’s gave her the drug.

“I had to take my 2 and a half-year-old out in the snowstorm, wind, blowing snow, freezing temperatures to drive to Brainerd just to get my prescription,” said Anderson.

So with the help of Gender Justice, she’s filing suit. Jess Braverman is an attorney for the group, “We want to make sure no matter where you live in Minnesota, you can get your prescriptions filled no matter the beliefs of the healthcare providers, you can access healthcare.”

CVS tells us it’s committed to providing customers access to emergency contraceptives and will investigate the matter. Thrifty White said they have no comment at this time.

The Board of Pharmacy does allow Minnesota pharmacists to refuse to fill a prescription because of their beliefs. If that happens, the pharmacist must refer the patient to someone who will fill it in a reasonable amount of time.

Full CVS statement:

CVS Pharmacy is committed to providing access to emergency contraception, whether it is at the pharmacy counter for patients who have a prescription for it, or in our store aisles where we have sold over-the-counter emergency contraception for several years.

We have policies and procedures in place to help ensure that customers seeking emergency contraception receive prompt service. We will review and investigate the allegations made in the complaint.

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