Should a pharmacist be able to refuse to administer abortion pills?

Pharmacist Couldn’t Think Of Any Other Reason For ‘Abortion Pill,’ Says Woman Prescribed Misoprostol After Miscarriage, Allegedly Denied Medication

Brittany Cartrett alleged that a pharmacist at a local Walmart in Georgia, where she was once employed, refused to fill her prescription for Misoprostol, sometimes called an “abortion pill,” and that the pharmacy employee claimed she couldn’t think of a reason why Cartrett would need the medication. As previously reported by Inquisitr, Cartrett was prescribed a pill that can cause abortions by her doctor in order to avoid an invasive D&C following a miscarriage, she says.

Misoprostol induces abortions, but Cartrett says on Facebook that her fetus had already died very early during her pregnancy.

“I didn’t tell many people because of my history with pregnancy. Damon is my light, but he wasn’t the first pregnancy I had gone through. So we decided to wait until after I hit that 12 week mark to make an announcement, like we did when I was pregnant with Damon. Unfortunately, we won’t make it to that 12 week mark. At the first ultrasound we knew immediately that baby#2 was not progressing like he/she should be, and after going to the doctor every week since then, we finally were able to confirm I miscarried, probably around 5-6 weeks.”

Cartrett told WGXA that since the story first broke about the pharmacist refusing to fill the prescription, others have messaged her. One woman, she claims, told her that she had to go to five separate pharmacies in order to get the prescription, due to pharmacists’ objections to abortions.

Cartrett says that after being refused the prescription, she went back to the Walmart pharmacy for a different prescription and confronted the employee who allegedly made the decision to refuse the prescription.

“I ask her why they refused to fill the other prescription I had. She looks at me, over her nose and says ‘Because I couldn’t think of a reason why you would need that prescription.’… Excuse me?! I tell her my reasons for needing it, and she says ‘Well, I don’t feel like there is a reason why you would need it, so we refused to fill it.’ “

Cartrett says she and her doctor chose to get the medication instead of the procedure, because a dilation and curettage was a more invasive option. A 2007 study published in Ochsner Journal found that “dilation and curettage may predispose” a woman “to postpartum hemorrhage” in subsequent pregnancies.

Misoprostol is not without risks, either, according to the FDA. Misoprostol’s drug information states the drug is designed to reduce “the risk of stomach ulcers in certain patients who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).” Alone, it is not indicated, according to FDA literature, for abortion or for miscarriage treatment. Still, according to the Atlantic, the white, hexagonal pill is being heralded as “revolutionary” in countries where abortion is illegal and has a growing place in the black market of pharmaceutical drugs. The Atlantic report from last year stated that the pill is commonly used for off-label indications like abortion, but that in the U.S., Misoprostol can legally be sold to induce early abortion when paired with Mifepristone.

“The drug, which is also called Mifeprex, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000, can only be taken in the early stages of pregnancy (within 49 days of a woman’s last menstrual period).”

In a detailed article about Misoprostol and Mifepristone use, the ACLU claims that as many as six out of 10 prescription medications are prescribed for off-label use.

Do you think the pharmacist at the Walmart where Cartrett used to work was right to refuse to fill the prescription? Should pharmacists refuse to fill prescriptions if they have a religious objection (such as an objection to abortion) or if they object to its off-label use?

[Photo credit: Brittany Cartrett/Facebook]

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