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National Women’s Law Center

A Drug Store Pharmacist Denied a Miscarrying Woman’s Prescription On His Moral Grounds

If anyone has ever undergone a miscarriage, you know how devastating the entire ordeal can be.  It is an emotional time especially when time comes to expelling the non-viable baby from your uterus.

Fortunately for technology, women no longer have to succumb to the very invasive treatment of having an in office surgical procedure done. Nowadays, there is US Food and Drug Administration-approved medicine called Misoprostol that will do it for you.

That is the option that 35-year-old Nicole Arteaga took when her doctor offered it but when she went to her local Walgreens drug store in Peoria, Arizona last Wednesday to fill the prescription at  nine weeks pregnant, the pharmacist refused.

He cited his own moral objections, as Arteaga described in a now-viral detailed Facebook post

Arizona is one of six states that allow pharmacies or pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions on religious or moral grounds, according to the National Women’s Law Center.

“If you have gone thru a miscarriage you know the pain and emotional roller it can be,” Arteaga wrote in her post, which has been shared more than 36,000 times. “I left Walgreens in tears, ashamed and feeling humiliated by a man who knows nothing of my struggles but feels it is his right to deny medication prescribed to me by my doctor.”

She was later able to get the drug when she received notification that her  prescription was ready for pickup at another location across town.

Walgreens eventually said in a statement that Walgreens pharmacists are allowed to “step away from filling a prescription for which they have a moral objection” per the State’s law.

According to the statement, and in this situation, the pharmacist was “required to refer the prescription to another pharmacist or manager on duty to meet the patient’s needs in a timely manner.”

The Arizona State Board of Pharmacy announced Monday that it plans to investigate what happened in Arteaga’s case.

The AP reports that the board wants to look into whether the Walgreens pharmacist actually followed the Arizona law:

“Arizona is one of multiple states with a ‘conscience clause’ law that allows health care providers to refrain from assisting in abortion, abortion medication or emergency contraception. The law says medical professionals like pharmacists must state their objection in writing.”

Kam Gandhi, the executive director of the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy, told the AP that the state’s “conscience clause” law needs to be clarified.

This Telemedicine App Promises Free Birth Control amidst Obamacare Abolishing Threat

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Telemedicine startup Nurx has committed to keep the free birth control flowing after the Republicans in Congress and Donald Trump nix Obamacare, as they’ve been proposing for a while now.

“Donald Trump’s first executive order reaffirmed that he is intent on repealing the Affordable Care Act. We hope that in doing so he ensures that women would retain access to free birth control and other preventative services. Anything less would be reckless.” says co-founder and CEO of Nurx, Hans Gangeskar.

He also believes that repealing the Affordable Care Act would cause 24 million people to lose health coverage by 2021 and would have devastating consequences on women’s health.

To do its part to counter those effects, Nurx is offering free birth control to new users who use the promo code ‘AlternativeFacts.’

The  San Francisco, California-based company focuses on making birth control as well as Truvada for PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) more accessible to everyone through their app. With the app, users can get a prescription from a doctor and have their medication delivered right to their door.

According to the National Women’s Law Center, roughly 55 million women now receive contraception and other preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs because of the Affordable Care Act.

In 2015, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that the ACA is saving oral contraceptive users an average of $255 a year and $248 for women with an IUD.

 

Its mission is to be a low cost option for woman and since December 2016, it has offered free pills to new users.

The Free Birth Control Promotion requires users to use the promo code ‘AlternativeFacts’ in order to get $45 of credit toward birth control through Nurx. To get the deal, users must visit Nurx.com, create a Nurx account, pick their brand of choice, and enter promo code ‘AlternativeFacts’ at checkout. The promotion ends February 28, 2017.

According to Nurx’s Medical Director, Dr. Jessica Knox, “Women should not have to jump through unnecessary hoops just to access birth control. The pill remains available by prescription only throughout the United States today, but with our app, we’re making birth control more accessible than ever.”

How the App Works for Birth Control:

● User Chooses Brand – The user selects their brand, answers a few questions, enters their insurance and shipping info.

● Doctor Reviews Submission – a Nurx partner physician reviews the request and writes a prescription.

● Delivered to Customer – The prescribed medication is delivered right to the user’s door.

“Women should be able to access health care on their own terms,” explains Dr. Edvard Engesaeth, a medical doctor and cofounder of Nurx. The app works for both new and existing birth control users and the service and shipping are often free to anyone with health care coverage. For uninsured patients, Nurx waives the consultation fee.