A woman has filed a lawsuit against two pharmacies, alleging sex discrimination after two pharmacists reportedly refused to fill her prescription for the morning-after pill.
Andrea Anderson, 39, had called in a prescription for the pill at Thrifty White Pharmacy, in Minnesota, ABC News reports. Then she received a call from the pharmacist there, who informed her that due to his “personal beliefs” he couldn’t fill her prescription, according to the lawsuit which was filed in Minnesota’s Ninth Judicial district Tuesday.
Anderson, who has five kids, spoke to the pharmacy’s owner, who allegedly told her the pharmacist, a local pastor, has refused to fill prescriptions before.
So her next step was to give the local CVS pharmacy a try. Her luck wasn’t any better there, according to the lawsuit because the pharmacist reportedly told her that the morning-after pill wasn’t in stock. The pharmacist also tried to prevent her from obtaining the pill at Walgreen’s, (which is a subsidiary of the company that owns CVS.)
Anderson decided “to double-check” and called Walgreen’s. This time she was informed that the pharmacy did indeed have the pill and that she could pick up her prescription there. The Walgreen’s pharmacist also told her she had talked to someone at CVS and told them as much, per the lawsuit.
“The pharmacists I encountered ignored my health needs and my doctor’s instruction,” she said in a statement. “I could not believe this was happening. I was angry.”
CVS has since issued a statement to ABC News, saying that officials are “reviewing and investigating the allegations made in the complaint.”
A manager for Thrifty White Pharmacy told ABC News that the store hasn’t been served yet but declined any further comment.
Jess Braverman, Legal Director for Gender Justice, a non-profit organization that’s representing Anderson, noted in a statement to ABC that the pharmacist at Thrifty White abrogated his legal and ethical obligation. Braverman said the purpose of the lawsuit is to “ensure that health care providers uphold their legal and ethical responsibilities to care for their patients, regardless of their provider’s personal beliefs.”
Prescription emergency contraceptive pills were approved for use by the FDA in 1998.
Watch ABC News’ report on the story below:
Featured image via screen grab