This Pharmacist Allegedly Refused To Refill A Teen’s IUD Hormone Prescription

As many of you who are on the pill or who have IUDs know, there are so many reasons to take hormones that have nothing to do with contraception. Birth control can clear your skin, ease insufferable menstrual cramps, and make periods much less painful and lengthy for many women.

One 13-year-old in Albuquerque knew this first-hand. She was prescribed an IUD to treat menstrual issues after trying other forms of birth control, Teen Vogue reports. Her doctor also prescribed her a pain reliever, an anxiety medication, and a mistoprostal (a hormone that makes IUD insertion easier) to make the experience smoother.

Despite her reasoning for the IUD having nothing to do with birth control, a Walgreens pharmacist allegedly flatly refused to fill the third prescription (mistoprostal) due to his “personal beliefs.” He told the teen’s mother to try another Walgreens, Yahoo! Beauty reports.

Not everyone has the transportation or time to drive to multiple Walgreens to fill a prescription, as the ACLU (which is handling the mother and daughter’s case and filed complaints Friday) rightly points out. They have made a complaint against Walgreens, telling them to stop “imposing additional discriminatory burdens on women.”

“He didn’t know my daughter’s medical history or her complications or conversation with her doctor,” the mother told Albuquerque Journal. “That he didn’t know what the medication was for…And he just looks at me and says, “Oh, I have a pretty good idea.'”

A Walgreens representative said that its policy lets pharmacists “step away from a transaction to which they may have a moral objection, but it also “requires the pharmacist or other employee to refer the transaction to another employee or manager on duty to complete the customer’s request,” which was reportedly not done in this case, Yahoo! reports..

The basis for sex discrimination in this case is “refusing to fill prescriptions that are directly tied to the attributes that make women different from men — i.e., the ability to become pregnant — constitutes sex discrimination,” the ACLU reports.

It should not need to be said, but women should not have to go out of their way to fill their prescriptions just because they are women — whether the hormones are for contraception or other medical concerns.

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