Woman files lawsuit after being denied morning after pill

U.S. & World

(CNN) — A northern Minnesota woman is suing a pharmacist for refusing to sell her a morning-after pill because he told her it went against his own beliefs.

Andrea Anderson and her partner have been together for 10 years.

“We just weren’t at a point where another child was something that we were ready to do or willing to do. We have a phenomenal child together. He’s amazing, and that’s where we want to leave it,” Anderson said.

Last January, the couple, who are also foster parents ran into an issue.

“We had our regular contraception fail so I had to find out about emergency contraception. I called my doctor’s office,” she said.

Anderson’s doctor wrote a prescription for Ella, but she said the pharmacist at Thrifty White, the only pharmacy in McGregor, refused to fill it.

“He said, I don’t feel comfortable, that goes against what I believe, and all a sudden it clicked and I said what,” she said.

Anderson said the pharmacist said another pharmacist may help her, but with the snowstorm coming, it wasn’t certain.

She said the CVS in Aitkin brushed her off as well.

Ultimately, Walgreens gave her the drug.

“I had to take my 2 and a half-year-old out in the snowstorm, wind, blowing snow, freezing temperatures to drive over 50 miles to Brainerd just to get my prescription,” Anderson said.

So with the help of Gender Justice, she’s filing suit.

“We want to make sure no matter where you live in Minnesota, you can get your prescriptions filled no matter the personal beliefs of the healthcare providers, you can access healthcare,” Gender Justice attorney Jess Braverman said.

CVS said it’s committed to providing customers access to emergency contraceptives and they’ll investigate the matter.

Thrifty White said they have no comment at this time.

The Board of Pharmacy does allow pharmacists in Minnesota to refuse to fill prescriptions because of their beliefs.

But if that happens, the pharmacist must refer the patients, in a reasonable time, to someone who can.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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