Most things must be experienced firsthand to be understood. In some cases, that’s impossible. Since losing an unborn child through miscarriage isn’t even the same for every woman, how could a man possibly understand? More importantly, if he is your pharmacist, why should it matter? It shouldn’t!
Some miscarriages occur spontaneously, in other cases, the baby stops living, but the mother’s body continues to feed it, even though the pregnancy isn’t viable. Nicole Arteaga from Peoria was given the heartbreaking news during her 10-week pregnancy check-up that her baby’s development had stopped. She had faced this pain before.
Grieving over the loss of another baby, she went to Walgreens the following day with her 7-year-old son to pick up her prescription. The medication had been prescribed by her doctor and would manage her health and the miscarriage by terminating the pregnancy.
If a mother with a dead embryo/fetus inside her doesn’t lose the baby naturally through miscarriage, this is called a “missed-mis,” meaning a missed miscarriage. The mother must then wait to lose the baby naturally, on the toilet through an hours-long painful process that could begin at any time, have a D & C surgical procedure, or take medication to urge along the loss process. Some mothers prefer the medication route to the more invasive surgical procedure.
The pharmacist’s job is to dispense medication that has been prescribed by the physician, not to second-guess or defy the orders of the doctor. Since when does a pharmacist question the authority of the prescribing physician? Where do we draw the line? I say we draw the line at pharmacists being able to deny the dispensing of certain medications based on their ‘moral objections.’
Like many professions, they should be forced to leave their ‘moral objections’ and personal problems outside the door when they report to work and, like anyone else, if the pharmacist refuses to do his job he should be fired, and the manager who allowed this to happen and Walgreens should all be held accountable. But they won’t. Arizona is one of six states that allow pharmacies or pharmacists explicitly to refuse to fill a prescription based on religious or moral reasons.
The law does not even require them to refer the patient to another pharmacist or transfer the prescription to another location, and the pharmacist dealing with Mrs. Arteaga made no such attempt, even though other pharmacists were on duty at the time. As of now, the denying pharmacist was within the limits of Arizona state law and Walgreens policy.
If this true horror story leaves you feeling nauseous and hopeless, remember the weapons you have in your arsenal. In this America, you still have some rights: Talk. Write. Boycott. Call. Vote.