Andrea Anderson of McGregor, Minnesota, has filed a lawsuit against Thrifty White Pharmacy and CVS, alleging they refused to fill her prescription for emergency contraception.
Anderson obtained a prescription for the morning after pill Ella in January after experiencing a condom failure with her long-term partner. After she called in the prescription at Thrifty White Pharmacy, she received a call soon after from a pharmacist who told her he couldn’t fill it due to his personal beliefs.
After Anderon complained to the pharmacy’s owner, she was told that this wasn’t the first time the pharmacist, who is also the local pastor, denied a prescription.
When Anderon tried to get her prescription filled at a nearby CVS, she was allegedly told that it couldn’t be filled there either. She said the pharmacists there told her that they didn’t have it in stock.
Anderson called Walgreens immediately to double check and was told that the pharmacy did indeed have Ella and could fill her prescription.
“The pharmacists I encountered ignored my health needs and my doctor’s instructions,” Anderson said in a statement.
“I could not believe this was happening. I was angry,” she added.
Contraceptive drugs have been available in Minnesota drug stores for a while now. However, some abortion opponents, including the Minessota Family Council, consider Ella to be an abortion pill, citing research that suggests the pill may work by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg.
However, other groups such as Planned Parenthood, said that calling Ella an abortion pill is misinformation.
“Preventing a pregnancy is a personal decision and no one has the right to interfere with that decision,” said Jennifer Aulwes, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood North Central States.
Thrifty White pharmacist George Badeaux and an unnamed CVS pharmacist are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
“I can’t help but wonder about other women who may be turned away,” Anderson said. “What if they accept the pharmacist’s decision and don’t realize that this behavior is wrong? What if they have no other choice? Not everyone has the means or ability to drive hundreds of miles to get a prescription filled.”