Arizona allows pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions based on beliefs

- A valley woman says a pharmacist at a Walgreens in Peoria denied her medication to end her pregnancy on moral grounds after doctors told her that her unborn baby stopped developing, and that she would miscarry.

That decision is raising some questions about whether or not a pharmacist is allowed to do that.

She first posted about her experience on Facebook, and that post has now gone viral. It has been shared over 38,000 times.

The Arizona State Board of Pharmacy announced on Monday that they will investigate Nicole Arteaga's complaint. She says she was left humiliated.

"He said he would not sell me the other one. And I thought he was not serious. I didn't understand. He said it was his ethics," Arteaga said.

Walgreens says they do allowed pharmacists to step away from dispensing certain drugs they have a moral issue with, but it is required to refer the prescription to another manager or pharmacist on duty.

Arteaga says that was not done.

"And so I asked if somebody else there could help me because there were some other people behind the counter," Arteaga.

Robert Sewell, a civil attorney with Davis Miles Law Firm says state laws protect that pharmacist's license.

"That medication was directly against his religious belief, then his license wouldn't be impacted based on his actions," Sewell said.

Meanwhile, she is just glad the issue will be looked into.

"I'm already going through something so emotional, and I just want to get my medicine and go. And for somebody else to have that power, there was nothing in that moment that I felt I could do," Arteaga.

So far, the board has not interviewed anyone involved, but they plan to before their next board meeting that's set for August.

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