Religious Freedom Law Endangered The Health of a Georgia Woman

There was, and maybe still is, some interest by a few Americans over the rash of so-called ‘religious freedom’ laws sweeping the nation after Indiana garnered national attention for its legalization of discrimination against gays and lesbians. Throughout the brief but intense controversy (Americans suffer short attention spans) over the evangelical edict, few if any Americans paid attention to pundits and commentary that laws like Indiana’s will adversely affect women more than the gay community; likely because Americans have even less concern about the rights of women than they do gays. Indiana’s law, like every other state religious freedom statute, has nothing to do with religious freedom and everything to do with imposing evangelical rules on the rest of the population.  This week a story in Georgia illustrates just how dangerous religious tyranny posing as religious freedom can be to the health of women.

In Milledgeville Georgia, a young woman looking forward to an addition to her family received some incredibly devastating news after a visit to her doctor; she had suffered a miscarriage after only six weeks of pregnancy. According to the woman, Brittany Cartrett, she had a tough decision to make whether to undergo an invasive surgical procedure known as a dilation and curettage (D&C or ‘rape and scrape’), risk a life-threatening infection, or choose an alternative treatment. In a D&C the patient is put under either general anesthetic or given an epidural and then the doctor dilates the cervix and inserts a special instrument (speculum) to scrape the uterine lining to remove tissue to prevent a dangerous infection. No matter how one looks at a D&C, it is an invasive surgical procedure that in Cartrett’s case was not the only or best option for her according to her treating physician.

With her doctor, Cartrett  “made the decision to not do a D&C and to get a medicine instead. So he said I’m going to give you this medicine, you’ll take it, and it will help you to pass naturally so that you don’t have to go the more invasive route.” Sounds reasonable under the circumstances and not only did Cartrett not have to undergo the invasive surgical procedure and deal with the risk of bleeding, the financial cost was substantially less. So the doctor did what doctors do and phoned the Milledgeville Walmart pharmacy to fill the prescription for Cartrett. However, he was told that despite his valid license to practice medicine in Georgia, they would not honor his medical opinion and treatment and did not give a reason why they overruled his choice of medical treatment. The particular drug was Misoprostol which can also be used to induce abortions at an early stage in a pregnancy, but is regularly prescribed as an alternative to a D&C.

Subsequently, Cartrett said the doctor eventually found another pharmacy that acknowledged his medical expertise and would fill the prescription. Cartrett said, “I had to go up there to get another prescription anyway, so when I went up there she (the pharmacist) asked if I had any questions about this prescription. I said no I don’t, but I do have a question about the other one. She looks at my name and says ‘oh, I can’t think of a valid reason why you need this prescription‘.” One would think that a licensed physician phoning in a prescription was reason enough, but according to a Walmart pharmacist who was aware of the situation said that in Georgia, pharmacists “have the ability to turn down prescriptions at their own discretion.”

According to a Mercer University Law Professor, Zac Buck, there has been a religious freedom (conscience clause) law in Georgia for about 15 years that give pharmacists’ personal religious beliefs supremacy over licensed physicians and the professional right to overrule the doctor and “turn down prescriptions” they believe are wrong for the patient without knowledge of the patient’s situation or medical history; religious people are apparently all-knowing according to Georgia law.  A spokesman at Walmart’s corporate office, Brian Nick, said that “Our pharmacists fill prescriptions on a case by case basis every day in our stores throughout the country. We encourage them to exercise their professional judgment in doing so.” Translation; professional judgment is code for religion trumps a physician’s training making the evangelical pharmacist the arbiter of what constitutes necessary medical treatment.

Cartrett said the experience was “very frustrating because who is the pharmacist to make that decision? I’m not going to see that pharmacist, I’m going to see a doctor and if its due to the conscience clause I think it’s called; what other decisions are they making based on our health and our needs by not giving a prescription to someone who needs it?” Cartrett related that since posting her experience on social media she had several people “message her who were in similar situations who had to go to many, up to five, different pharmacies before they could get their medications.” These situations are not unique to Georgia, and with more stringent conscience clause (religious freedom) laws making their way through 23 Republican state legislatures, there will be more stories like Cartrett’s and certainly many will have deadly consequences.

This is just one example of why religious freedom laws are not about a person’s right to worship without government interference; they are about religious tyranny to control the lives, and in Cartrett’s situation her health, of all Americans. In this particular scenario it was about several evangelicals deciding what medication a physician is allowed to prescribe regardless the reason for the prescription. It is also a portent of what the rash of ‘religious freedom‘ laws making their way through 23 different states will mean for millions of Americans; subjection to the will of any number of evangelical service providers from pharmacists to physicians to emergency room staff to first responders to nurses to school personnel.

One hates belaboring a point, but it is noteworthy that none of the so-called ‘religious freedom’ bills making their way through Republican state legislatures ever mention the words discrimination or gay, but they all give free rein to evangelicals to refuse service to anyone on the basis of religion. The religious freedom laws are the ultimate ‘conscience clause‘ edicts that give anyone, whether they are members of a religion or not, legal cover to impose their will on other citizens if they claim their personal beliefs inform their actions; sadly the Papal-5 on the Supreme Court legalized this new form of religious tyranny.

Americans have not yet seen the scope or consequences of ‘religious freedom‘ evangelicals are going to impose on this nation, but they damn sure can rest assured that every American will be impacted at some point in the near future. It is due, in great part, to both apathy in the face of impending theocracy and the abject fear of Americans to condemn what very few citizens still believe will never happen in America; theocratic tyranny under the guise of religious freedom.

64 Replies to “Religious Freedom Law Endangered The Health of a Georgia Woman”

  1. Capitalism & Religion = Religious Fascism.

    Women are always on the ‘short’ end of the stick when religious nutters get their way.

  2. I’ve been away from med school for a while, but if i remember correctly misoprostol is only used off-label for a situation like this. I think it’s supposed to be used in conjunction with other drugs as well, but I’m not sure. Things may have changed by now, but a few years ago there was only maybe 1 study for safety and efficacy for miscarriages. This coupled with the fact that I have never heard of anyone objecting to the use of abortion inducing drugs for miscarriage makes me suspect that the pharmacist may have simply disagreed with, or been unaware of, the off-label use of the drug.

  3. Try getting Christians to see just how some of their own trusted people are completely wrong about what constitutes “religious freedom”. They will deny it while they themselves are suffering also. “I am looked upon as evil by those who feel that they are being oppressed because they cannot force me to believe as they do”….

  4. Religion has no place in law, no place in business and no place at work. If I had discussed religion at my past jobs, I’d have been fired, no matter which religion. And I am fine with that. NOBODY at your work cares about your faith. And using your faith to take away others religious liberty means you are a bigot, not practicing your conscience. You can practice all you want, at home, in church, on YOUR time. You are being paid to be “the company” not Johnny Christian pushing your Iron Age philosophy. You are not on YOUR TIME there.

  5. This really frosts me. These so called Religious Freedom laws have so many far reaching consequences.

    I had a similar experience. A few years ago I had a root canal & was given a prescription for the narcotic pain medication Vicodin (Hydrocodone) which I filled at a local Walgreens. After taking the Vicodin as directed I had an allergic reaction, called my dentist & was given a new prescription for Percocet (Oxycodone) which I took to Walgreens to fill.

    The pharmacist said he wouldn’t fill the Percocet because I had just filled the Vicodin the day before. The pharmacist decided that I didn’t need the Percocet because I still should have had enough of the Vicodin left. After I tersely explained my allergic reaction (clearly stated on all prescription paper work) to the pharmacist he begrudgingly filled the prescription. I’ve never filled another prescription at Walgreens.

    I now go to a local pharmacy that has what I call a ‘fill it & shut up’ policy.

  6. Cont.

    It’s bad enough to be accused of being a drug addict by a self-righteous pharmacist without adding religion to the mix. It’s extremely dangerous for people when the medical establishment decides to play God.

    What’s next? Are people going to be denied the filling of Chemotherapy drugs because some ‘well-meaning pharmacist’ decides that a person deserves their cancer because they look like they led an immoral life?

  7. Not sure what your experience has to do with religious freedom laws. Pharmacists deal with a never ending flow of drug seekers and have a tremendous amount of liability when it comes to narcotics, so they were just being thorough, as they should. Also, you don’t just get a 1 week certification to become a pharmacist. It requires a doctorate level degree, and pharmacists are an excellent last line of defense for doctors and dentists.

  8. My dear Erica,

    Don’t you have a dissertation to complete for you PhD at Liberty University?

    My experience has a great deal to do with the subject matter. I had a pharmacist decide that I didn’t need a prescription that my doctor had determined I needed & that was of NO business to the pharmacist just like the woman in RMuse’s article.

    The pharmacist could have clearly seen upon review of my prescription filling & refilling history which is available on-line as I live in a state which has such a system. This pharmacist could have plainly seen that I didn’t have a history of filling multiple prescriptions for narcotic pain medication, therefore, I didn’t fit the scenario for which you suggest.

    Why do you continue to post your nonsense on a Liberal Website?

  9. If the pharmacist had a misunderstanding of the drug or the nature of the drug being used, the pharmacist should have called the prescribing physician before the pharmacist decided on his own not to fill the prescription because it ‘went against his deeply held religious beliefs.’ After all, the prescribing physicians name, address & phone number would have been on the prescription.

    If a doctor or pharmacist’s ‘deeply held religious beliefs’ become a danger to the health & well-being of the public, perhaps they should find another occupation.

  10. umm, I don’t go to Liberty, but I wouldn’t consider it a blemish if I did. Other than that, you literally just wrote that the pharmacist, who is dispensing a drug to you and has much of the same liability as the prescribing physician, has “no business” questioning the drug he/she is physically handing to you. Does that really make sense to you? You clearly haven’t the slightest idea of how things operate in the medical community nor do you understand the massive problem of drug seeking behavior, particularly at pharmacies and ERs. I recommend you shadow an ER doctor for a night. It will be an eye opening experience for you. oh, and your experience has nothing to do with the subject matter because the article is about conscience clause refusals to fill prescriptions, not refusals in general. *Spoiler alert* Pharmacists can and absolutely should refuse to fill a prescription they think is unsafe or erroneous.

  11. If a pharmacist has any reservations about filling a prescription, they can look up a patients drug filling history & call the prescribing physician or dentist. Doctors shouldn’t let their personal religious beliefs get in the way of their ability to do their jobs.

    I know a great deal about the medical community, my husband is a doctor.

  12. The answer is onerous but simple. Everyone – especially women – should put ANY pharmacy that refuses service on every social media site available with a suggestion to do business elsewhere. If a pharmacy or pharmacist wishes to play god, let them pay for the privilege with lost business.

    The same tactic is also viable for pizza parlors…

  13. But Erica, is it not the DOCTOR’S reason for giving the medication that is at issue here?

    Whether the pharmacist is aware or unaware of off-label use, it is not up to a pharmacist to decide if a patient needs a certain medication or not.

    That’s why the woman went to a doctor for treatment and not a pharmacist.

  14. If a pharmacy refused to fill a prescription prescribed by my doctor, I’d stop going to that pharmacist.

    Now there are reasons why a pharmacist may not fill a prescription – take the case of narcotic drugs. There are safeguards in place to keep people from filling that type of medication too often.

    But that wasn’t the case here. The woman says the pharmacist said she/he didn’t think the woman needed that drug. That is not the decision of the pharmacist; the pharmacist, regardless of their level of education, is not there to second-guess the doctor. If the pharmacist wants to second-guess the doctor, the pharmacist can call the doctor and discuss it – but it’s still the doctor’s decision to prescribe or not prescribe a drug and it is still the pharmacist’s responsibility to fill that prescription for the patient.

    Pharmacists can have all the education in the world but they have a job to do – and it is not to get between a patient and her doctor.

  15. Absolutely correct, Paws — you posted before I could!

    Folks like Erica don’t seem to have any problem with entities (pharmacists, rightwing legislators etc.) getting in between a patient and her doctor, do they? And yet they promote the fallacy that the government is doing just that.
    Boggles the mind, it does……

  16. Erica,

    If you had read the article CAREFULLY you would have read the part that said the pharmacist at Walmart, “DID NOT GIVE A REASON why they overruled his (the woman’s prescribing physician’s) choice of medical treatment.” While a second pharmacist told the woman, “I can’t think of a valid reason why you need this drug.”

    In both cases as was the case with me, these pharmacists didn’t have to give a reason to their customers as to why they wouldn’t fill the prescriptions as they all reside in southern states with morality clauses in the laws, so they don’t have to give a reason as they’re protected by the law.

    It goes without saying that anytime a pharmacist won’t give a reason for denying to fill a prescription for an RU486 type drug or a narcotic, they’re playing God.

  17. I’m not going to bother trying to explain an issue that’s not neat, tidy or black & white like you & others like you insist everything must be.

    Please see below a response to your question that was not linked to this thread.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I got things to do in my real life.

  18. I think this is a very different issue based in drug enforcement laws that are not at all lax. Because both substances are addictive, no druggist would do this any differently. Prescription drug abuse is very high – too many doctors are pill pushers and either indifferent to patients’ abuses or in on the game for money – for a pharmacist NOT to be careful. I actually applaud the pharmacist for being careful with your health. And then LISTENING to you about your own side effects. That is what you want – not Mr. Goodwrench.

  19. Let me re-state the last paragraph in my comment.

    It goes without saying that anytime a pharmacist won’t give a reason for denying to fill a prescription for a RU486 type drug or a narcotic (especially when the person has no history of filling narcotics), they’re playing God.

  20. These laws will not go away until we force the issue where it counts – in the profits column. “Religious beliefs” seem to take a lower priority than cash in the pocket.

    Laws protecting businesses for refusing service in cases of safety or hygiene have been around for decades and rightly so, but just-because laws have no business in business. Ask the businesses in Indiana…

  21. Churchlady, I agree with you to some extent. Unfortunately, I was not given a reason that pertained to any concern for my health. Nor was I doing anything wrong like doctor shopping or anything that should have given any doctor or pharmacist any reason to be suspicious of me filling such prescriptions.

    I had to explain to the pharmacist that I had a drug allergy & wasn’t just trying to get more drugs. I had no history of filling narcotics either so I didn’t appreciate being treated with an attitude as if I was a drug addict by this particular pharmacist. If he had given me any indication that he was concerned about my health we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    Also, I am very familiar with the huge drug problem we have in the US & I know several recovering addicts. I don’t mind a pharmacist being careful. Unfortunately, this is was not what I experienced.

  22. Well the question is how many people are we going to put between a woman and her doctor? We’ve got legislators in between, we’ve got companies in between, we’ve got pharmacists in between.

    Just how many more people do we need making decisions for US?????

    You develop a relationship with your doctor; you build trust and confidence and you make decisions TOGETHER based on medical history, treatment goals, etc. You start putting all these people in between us, and the relationship with the doctor just breaks down completely.

    It’s a bad road to be on.

  23. Religious Freedom Law Endangered The Health of a Georgia Woman

    But a spokesman for Walmart, Brian Nick, told msnbc on Monday that the pharmacist had not, in fact, had a religious objection to the drug, but rather believed that it was not medically indicated because it wasn’t FDA-approved for miscarriage management, although it is frequently used that way. “The pharmacist exercised professional judgment about the medication and chose not to fill the prescription, and reached out to the customer’s doctor and shared that information,” Nick said. “This was not a conscientious objection.”

  24. John,

    The specific incident stated in this article does hit women exclusively, but that does not make it a women-only problem. Let’s not limit exclusively to women the activism you so correctly encouraged. If that scenario had happened to my wife or daughter, I would be blasting away at every social media site to which I hold a membership. In fact, I would probably join a few more on the spot!

    We men have an obligation to stand up for what is right, especially when the offense is not aimed at us. We cannot be bystanders meekly cheering on our wives, daughters, friends, and relatives. We must be side-by-side with them, lending our strength and support, and stepping up to our responsibilities to hold the line against such unjust treatment.

    You had a great idea. Let’s make it as effective as possible by recruiting all who can make a difference – everyone.

  25. Years ago I was very naive. I went to a catholic hospital because one of my doctor’s office was located in the facility. A young lady and I struck up a conversation and she told me that she had to look for a new doctor because her OB-GYN wouldn’t prescribe any type of birth control.

    I wonder if Catholic hospital will perform a DNC if is medically necessary?

  26. I had two D&C procedures in Catholic hospitals, one for an incomplete miscarriage and the second one years later in a Catholic Hospital in another state following a live birth in which the placenta was not totally expelled.

  27. I’m waiting for the day when some old right wing so-called christian geezer goes to get his prescription for Viagra filled, and is denied by a pharmacist due to her religious beliefs.

  28. Well folks, it’s like this. I’d really have my heart broken if I came home and: Caught three Republicans holding my wife down, half naked, shining a flashlight in her private parts trying to see if she’s had a miscarriage this month, my heart begins to crack. My heart broke completely when I was convicted of three counts of 1st degree manslaughter for killing those nosy assed,OBGYN wannabe Republicans. They have way too many woman problems.

  29. “equal rights of conscience” Depending on how “conscience rights” are specified or defined.

    The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience by in any manner, or on any pretext infringed.

    And the application of “conscience” as a basis of “moral” and personal “ethical” determinations or supposition to impinge or dilute basic “civil rights” is a conundrum right there!

  30. Of course the Repugs got a heart break when thousands of normally not so noses women took up arms , grabbed the Rethugs, held them down, stripped them to see if they were raping women or worse, playing pocket pool!

  31. Has the FDA confirmed their statement!? The pharmacists try that line on other pharmacists! Especially the ones that fill birth control prescriptions!

  32. Of course, when caught, they try and cite the FDA! Then the FDA has to tell all of them off! This happened with Deposit Provera cuz some nutter said it wasn’t approved! When A good BUDDHIST pharmacy moves next door and refuses to give Viagra due to religous feelings about men who try to control the bodies of women, or denies prostrate medications for the same reason, the haters will wake up!

  33. Most careful pharmacists will immediately offer an alternative based on the situation! That means a pharmacist who knows I have High blood pressure will see if there if an effective alternative for Benadryl and not just send me to the core even HBP section! The actually leave the counter and LOOK! Then they prescribe Mucinex! I am happy, the doctor is happy, and the pharmacist is happy because she DID her job!

  34. Has the FDA confirmed their statement!?
    The FDA doesn’t need to officially confirm if the information provided is easily verifiable.

    A simple google search is all that is needed.

    There was something about this story didn’t pass the smell test right from the get-go.
    In this case, Ms. Cartrett’s explanation as to why this drug was not given to her at the first pharmacy possibly stemmed from a simple misunderstanding/miscommunication between herself and the pharmacist.

    The RFRA boogeyman isn’t the problem.

  35. BINGO!

    The only objection a pharmacist can have is if the medication prescribed could have a harmful interaction with other medication the patient is taking. This discovery would be followed by a phone call to the doctor to present the contradiction and to wait for the doctor to prescribe something different.

    The doctor called this prescription in to the pharmacy so if the pharmacist “didn’t understand why” they could have asked right then! The only reason the pharmacist gave that explanation to the customer was because they were too much of a coward to admit they were forcing their religion on others.

  36. *^THIS!^*

    You’ve taken everything I have to say on this, Paws, and have said it all, better than I could have.

  37. Please don’t lump all ‘religious’ people with a fringe group that perverts Christianity, and sees Islam as evil. There are many, many deeply religious people who respect women, gays, minorities, other religions, etc., and would never attempt to force their beliefs on anyone. It’s sad that the term ‘Christianity’ has been so tarnished by an intolerant, hate-filled group that somehow manages to grab headlines. I am Christian, religious, and am NOT one of them.

  38. I will utilize my knowledge, skills, experiences, and values to prepare the next generation of pharmacists.This is the Oath a pharmacist takes …this woman violated her oath and should be disbarred “”I promise to devote myself to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy. In fulfilling this vow:

    I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concerns.
    I will apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes for my patients.
    I will respect and protect all personal and health information entrusted to me.
    I will accept the lifelong obligation to improve my professional knowledge and competence.
    I will hold myself and my colleagues to the highest principles of our profession’s moral, ethical and legal conduct.
    I will embrace and advocate changes that improve patient care.
    I will utilize my knowledge, skills, experiences, and values to prepare the next generation of pharmacists.

  39. C Duke,

    Thank you! That’s the way any competent pharmacist should pursue their career. That is, of course, as long as those lofty vows don’t contradict my “religious beliefs”.

    And therein lies the rub…

  40. I am with all saying, Christians believe in conscience clauses, that when god deems men that lose their ability to make babies, they should never rely on “infidel” evil medication to resolve their problem.

    In this same line of thought; I suppose when all these same people have 10+ children to feed, cloth and educate, are unable to support them, will the church step up and subsidize their needs???? Kind of like church welfare. I doubt it.

  41. The article claims this is a religious issue and only states the drug is for abortion as proof? and did not give a reason why they overruled his choice of medical treatment. Looked up the drug. The maker says Misoprostol is used for:

    Reducing the risk of stomach ulcers in certain patients who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

    Misoprostol is a prostaglandin. It works by reducing the amount of acid released by the stomach and protecting the stomach lining, which helps to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers.
    Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

    if you are planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding
    if you are able to become pregnant
    NOT FOR ABORTIONS.Pharms are expert chemists not MDs and do sometimes have to intervene to protect people. Check medical poisoning rates sometime. Article based on fa…

  42. im a born-and-bred Hoosier (same thing writers have been calling an “Indianan,” which drives us crazy) and I’ve been writing my local papers like crazy, trying to make this exact point.

    Unfortunately, the Hoosier State ranked the lowest voter turnout in the entire country, and this is exactly what we get. The Indiana RFRA wasn’t “fixed” at all. My point in my letters is this: its already happened here. It happened to me. CVS is a business that I’ve sworn off, permanently, because of it.

    A young pipsqueak (a brand-spanking new pharmacist) made the decision to override my Doctor’s prescription, refusing to fill it. When I finally, in my frustration, told him he was an a**hole, he threatened to call the police, so I tried to hand him my phone. He then disappeared into the back room.

    Thus, I ended my 20+-year relationship with CVS. My husband and I were what you’d call “super customers” of that franchise. We spent at least a couple thousand dollars a year at CVS. That’s IT f…

  43. Titiana, good for you. Same thing happened to me at CVS, and I’m here in Indiana. The alleged “fix” of the RFRA actually “fixed” NOTHING at all.

  44. To Sciencefirst: you can waste all the words you want, describing what the drug is supposed to be used for — as a pharmacist, it’s NOT in your job description to overrule any medical doctor’s prescription!!

    It’s very, very simple. As a pharmacist, YOU are not a doctor, and you, in NO way are allowed to intercede in that doctor/patient relationship. (I’m not saying you’re a pharmacist, but your post convinces me that you’re missing the point, entirely!)

    Scroll back up and read PAWS’ posts.

  45. Born in the night. Not last night. Please don’t insult our collective ability to recognize bullshit when the bull drops it.

  46. Brand management. The ‘Christian’ brand is associated with busy bodies trying to subject non-Christians to their dogmas and beliefs. By force and legal trickery.

    This does not make for a popular brand. Either manage your own whackjobs, or suck it up.

  47. As a pharmacist, I would have not filled 2nd narcotic RX. I would place it on hold and contact the physician. Once the circumstances were clarified, I would authorize the 2nd RX and add Hydrocodone to your list of allergies.
    If I didn’t want to fill an RX for Cytotec which is misoprostol, I would just lie and say I don’t carry this medication. Actually, it wouldn’t be a lie bc we don’t carry it and we rarely dispense it. It would take 24 hours to get this medication and I would offer to obtain it and have a coworker dispense it bc I do have a religious objection to it. I have every right NOT to fill this prescription and/or any RX I deem unsafe for a patient. There is hardly a time of day where there are not 2 pharmacists working, so if a patient wants to obtain a chemical to kill their baby, I let the other pharmacist do it and I am able to sleep at night. How often does this scenario arise? Hasn’t yet! Med has awful side effects for abortion dose- abdominal cramping diarr…

  48. Fuck Your Conscience; Do Your Job Let us say, and why not, that you are a firefighter, the captain of the department in Sisterfuck, Arkansas, a little bit outside Little Rock, and, in your off-duty life, you’re a good, loyal member of the Church of the Bloodiest Christ You’ve Ever Seen. At your church, Pastor Jamie Lee Closetqueer preaches about how abortion is just President Obama trying to murder Christians to make room for more Muslims. You never saw a Muslim abortion clinic, did you? – See more at:

  49. SarahG,

    Sorry you had a similar experience at CVS like I had at Walgreens. I now use a local pharmacy that’s fast, polite & professional; a real one-of-a-kind type place that knows me & appreciates my business. Plus, I always prefer supporting the local businesses in my community rather than a large chain of national stores like CVS & Walgreens.

    Religious Morality Laws have no place in a 21st century democracy.

  50. These “observant” pharmacists should beware of the “Freedom Pharmacy Chain” that someone should decide to open around the country! Whose very mission would be to fill every authorized medical prescription!
    These actions by these extremists are bound to result in serious complications or death. Suppose the woman has no means or funds to travel ten or twenty miles to the next pharmacy? She’s to go without medication? These people have been given rights that they do not merit over people’s health and well-being.
    They are now putting women behind bars for having a miscarriage.

  51. There are roughly 4,200 religions in the world. So these laws mean that we can have at least 4,200 different ways to discriminate. Say as Catholic, I believe Jesus was the Son of God, and then a Jewish person comes into my bagel shop and I decide to refuse him service because his religion “offends” me. That’s how this will all go down. We can all start posting signs saying I only serve Catholics or whatever. What a horrible law. That is not religious freedom at all. It’s pretty much Hitler all over again.

  52. Go local. My ex-POW husband (I’m 100% DAV)is on heavy narcos to manage pain from medical torture.

    Here in Louisiana, the DEA arbitrarily cuts the amount of painkillers pharmacists are allowed to stock per month. Billy Tauzin is their lobbyist.

    Great for the illegal drug cartels and big Pharma. Not so good for patients. Especially those who can’t travel from pharmacy to pharmacy hoping to find pills in stock. You can’t phone and ask.

    Our local pharmacy is wonderful, understanding, and unafraid of the DEA. My husband is actually on the mend, thanks to them and a doctor who refuses to bow down.


  53. It’s amusing to see the atrocious religious freedom law undermine another atrocious ruling, the Hobby Lobby decision.

    The Hobby Lobby case found that businesses have a right to exercise religion through company policy. The religious freedom laws say individuals have the same right. So in this case, the pharmacist exerts her right to refuse to dispense a certain medication.

    But thanks to Hobby Lobby, Walmart can say, “Our company’s religious principle is to serve all customers without question, so we’re enacting a corporate policy forbidding our pharmacists from refusing to fill any prescription.” Then who wins? Does Walmart’s corporate religious freedom mean they could fire a pharmacist for exercising her individual religious freedom?

    I hope we’ll find out soon. Any pharmacist who wants to veto a doctor’s prescription ought to lose her job, if not her license.

  54. I have been a labor and delivery RN for 37 years. I have also had a loss at 6 weeks. Most of these losses do not require any inducing as the body will usually start to expel the products of conception and a D and C is only performed (or should I say, should only be performed) in the case of a retained placenta with possibility then of excessive blood loss or infection. I have seen over these years MANY losses at all different stages of pregnancy and these were all naturally occuring, with no hope of maintaining the pregnancy to viability or already a confirmed demise. I have also administered misoprostil (or cytotec) under a Dr order. There are different protocols to follow for different indications. The med is given in different strengths depending on the use. It is given vaginally, and can also be used as a labor induction agent in a full or post term pregnancy when other options have not been successful.

  55. This whole article ASSUMES that religion is the reason for the pharmacist’s refusal. Where are the FACTS that the pharmacist or Walmart ever actually said that? (See below)If you have a problem with the law about pharmacist discretion, that is one thing. Blaming it on religion is quite another. This whole article is BOGUS!

    “A spokesman at Walmart’s corporate office, Brian Nick, said that “Our pharmacists fill prescriptions on a case by case basis every day in our stores throughout the country. We encourage them to exercise their professional judgment in doing so.” Translation; professional judgment is code for religion trumps a physician’s training making the evangelical pharmacist the arbiter of what constitutes necessary medical treatment.”

  56. Charlie, Thank you for pointing out the obvious: this article was written only to bash religion and RFRAs, not to report the facts first. When a reporter has to tell the readers how to “translate” someone’s speech, without any fact-checks, it is no longer journalism. It is a hack job.

  57. What boggles the mind is that so many people on this commentary 1) bought the false biased narrative of this article, without verified facts about the situation, and then 2) proceeded to attribute unwarranted motives, attitudes, and actions to other commentators who DID provide facts and professional opinions from their own education or experience. Move on.

  58. If that pharmacist was supposed to be exercising superior madical judgement,s/he should have gotten an MD.

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