Pharmacist Refuses to Fill Prescription for Emergency Contraception

A pharmacist in Denton, Texas drew protestors for refusing to fill a prescription for emergency contraception for a victim of rape. The Eckerd pharmacist claimed it would violate his moral beliefs to fill the prescription, according to Reuters. Eckerd Corp. reportedly disciplined the pharmacist. “A pharmacist is obliged to fill a prescription if it is a valid, legal prescription,” said Eckerd spokeswoman Joan Gallagher, according to Reuters. “We do not make exceptions for any moral, religious, or ethical concerns with regard to filling the prescription.”

The rape victim was eventually able to get her prescription filled across the street at a Walgreens, but the incident sparked protests outside the Eckerd store. “After being raped and assaulted, to come into a pharmacy to get a prescription that is stocked there – an FDA-approved drug – and to be shut down, that’s a second assault,” protestor Stephanie Besier told WFAA-TV

The Feminist Majority Foundation is leading a campaign to win over-the-counter status for emergency contraception (EC). Two FDA advisory panels voted 23-4 to recommend OTC status for Plan B, a brand of EC, in December. The full FDA is expected to issue its decision this month.

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Reuters 2/3/04; WFAA-TV 2/2/04; Feminist Majority Foundation

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