An Arizona mother who was told by her doctors that her baby had stopped developing and she would ultimately miscarry said in a heartbreaking Facebook post that a Walgreens pharmacist refused to fill her prescription for medication that would end her pregnancy because he thought it was unethical.
Nicole Mone, of Phoenix, said she went to a Walgreens in Peoria on Thursday night to fill a prescription her doctor gave her but was turned away by the store's pharmacist.
Mone, who was roughly two months pregnant, explained that during a doctor's appointment on Tuesday she learned that her unborn baby had stopped developing. She said her doctor told her that the pregnancy would end in a miscarriage and gave her two options: have a surgical procedure or take the medication misoprostol, which helps bring on a miscarriage more quickly.
An Arizona mother said she was two months pregnant when she learned that her baby was not developing and the pregnancy would end in a miscarriage
Nicole Mone said her doctor gave her an option to undergo a surgical procedure or take medication to end the pregnancy
She said when she took the prescription to Walgreens the pharmacist refused to fill it because it went against his ethical beliefs
Arizona is one of six states which allows a pharmacist to deny filling a person's prescription if it conflicts with their moral or ethical beliefs
The 35-year-old mom said she made the heartbreaking decision to take the medication.
'I went to pick up my medication at my local Walgreens only to be denied the prescription I need. I stood at the mercy of this pharmacist explaining my situation in front of my 7 year old, and five customers standing behind only to be denied because of his ethical beliefs' she wrote on Facebook.
'I get it we all have our beliefs. But what he failed to understand is this isn’t the situation I had hoped for, this isn’t something I wanted. This is something I have zero control over. He has no idea what its like to want nothing more than to carry a child to full term and be unable to do so.'
Mone said she left the store 'in tears' and felt ashamed and humiliated by the pharmacist.
'I share this story because I wish no other women have to go thru something like this at time when you are vulnerable and already suffering. I am left in disbelief on how this can happen? How is this okay? I can’t be the only one who has gone thru this,' she wrote.
Mone told WTSP that she contacted the corporate office and was told that she could pick up her prescription at another Walgreens. She also filed a complaint with the state Board of Pharmacy.
Mone said she left the store in tears. Arizona is one of six states which allows pharmacists to step away from filling a prescription if it goes against their beliefs
As devastating as Mone's experience is, it is not illegal for pharmacists in Arizona to deny filling a person's prescription if it conflicts with their moral or ethical beliefs.
Arizona is one of six states which allows such practices.
The company told WTSP in a statement that in a situation where that happens the pharmacist is supposed to refer the person to another pharmacist on duty.
'After learning what happened, we reached out to the patient and apologized for how the situation was handled. To respect the sincerely held beliefs of our pharmacists while at the same time meeting the needs of our patients, our policy allows pharmacists to step away from filling a prescription for which they have a moral objection, Walgreens said.
'At the same time, they are also required to refer the prescription to another pharmacist or manager on duty to meet the patient's needs in a timely manner. We are looking into the matter to ensure that our patients' needs are handled properly.'