Health and Science

Walgreens pharmacist refused to fill woman's prescription for miscarriage medication

Key Points
  • An Arizona woman's Facebook post went viral after a Walgreens pharmacist refused to fill her prescription for medication to end an inviable pregnancy. 
  • Declining to fill a prescription on the basis of moral beliefs is not against Walgreens' company policy.
  • Arizona and five other states permit pharmacies and pharmacists to refuse medication on the basis of religious or moral grounds.
Pedestrians pass in front of a Walgreens store in Chicago.
Christopher Dilts | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A Walgreens pharmacist refused to provide an Arizona woman with miscarriage medication, citing his ethical beliefs. Her response, in the form of a Facebook post, went viral over the weekend with more than 35,000 shares.

Nicole Arteaga was trying to pick up her prescription for misoprostol, a medication that can be used to end a failed pregnancy, when the pharmacist asked if she was pregnant and then refused to provide the medicine, according to The New York Times.

"I left Walgreens in tears, ashamed and feeling humiliated by a man who knows nothing of my struggles but feels it is his right to deny medication prescribed to me by my doctor," she wrote in her post. Several days before going to Walgreens to pick up the medicine, Arteaga's doctor told her that there was no fetal heartbeat and she would have a miscarriage.

Walgreens said in a statement that the company had contacted Arteaga and apologized for the handling of the situation. However, the pharmacy chain noted that the pharmacist had not violated its policy with his refusal. In an update to her original post, Arteaga said the prescription was transferred to another location and she was able to pick it up there.

Arizona and five other states explicitly allow pharmacies or pharmacists to refuse to provide medication because of religious or moral objections, The New York Times reported.

Read more about Arteaga's experience in The New York Times.