Walgreens pharmacy controversy

Rather than simply asking a colleague to fill the prescription, the pharmacist proceeded to lecture Arteaga and tell her to get it filled elsewhere.


As if receiving the news of a miscarriage wasn’t heartbreaking enough, an Arizona school teacher left a local Walgreens “in tears and ashamed” thanks to a righteous pharmacist acting on his religious convictions.

Despite the fact that Nicole Arteaga’s pregnancy was no longer viable, the pharmacist refused to fill her prescription that would induce a miscarriage.

“I stood at the mercy of this pharmacist explaining my situation in front of my 7-year-old and five customers standing behind, only to be denied because of his ethical beliefs,” the 35-year-old Peoria resident wrote on social media.

“I get it, we all have our beliefs. But what he failed to understand is, this isn’t the situation I had hoped for – this isn’t something I wanted. This is something I have zero control over. He has no idea what it’s like to want nothing more than to carry a child to full term and be unable to do so.”

Getting the Bad News

After a routine care visit, Arteaga’s doctor informed her the baby she was carrying was not developing normally and would not make it. When given the choice between a surgical procedure and medication to induce miscarriage, the distraught Arteaga (who had already suffered a previous miscarriage) chose the less-invasive medication option.

According to Walgreens policy, employees have the right to “step away from filling a prescription for which they have a moral objection.” However, rather than simply passing her off to the female employee standing next to him, the pharmacist proceeded to lecture Arteaga, ignoring the doctor’s advice and informing her she’d have to get the prescription filled elsewhere.

“No Woman Should Have to Endure This”

To make matters worse, Walgreens made no effort to reach out and apologize to Arteaga until her Facebook post had already drawn some 33,000 reactions – and mounting public pressure made it impossible to ignore.

As Arteaga told reporters, she chose to share her story in the hopes of preventing other women from having to endure similar humiliation. Already vulnerable and suffering, the last thing a woman in that position deserves is someone who knows nothing about them offer a public lecture on the moral implications of their excruciating decision.

Should Companies Police Morality?

Examples of employees or business owners taking moral stands in their workplaces seem to have become regular news events these days.

Whether it’s Christian bakers, hardware store owners or CrossFit trainers refusing to serve gay couples – or a Virginia farm-to-table restaurant refusing to serve the White House press secretary over the president’s immigrant family separation policy, modern businesses have become moral battlegrounds for frustrated citizens to express themselves.

Regarding the Walgreens case, whatever the male pharmacist’s personal religious objections, there is no excuse for putting one’s own opinions ahead of sound medical advice – nor for publicly shaming a woman who clearly didn’t choose to end her pregnancy.

Aren’t pharmacists hired to fill prescriptions, not to pass judgment?

 

129 comments

  1. Lea Weis says:

    You can’t police morality. Or we would be just like the middle east killing people over what they think is moral.

    This is why people hate Christians and they cry when its done to them. Well I guess I’m not shopping at Walgreens because treating someone like this is immoral and that’s my religion.

    1. Lori Mongillo says:

      I agree. I won’t be going there either. It’s too bad Christians don’t really get what their religion is suppose to be about. They twist the scripture to suit their personal opinions and needs. And it sounds like he didn’t even try to understand the doctors orders and why it was prescribed. He should not be allowed to serve the public.

      1. Marsha says:

        The Bible says not to take innocent blood. That is what God says.

        1. Joyce A Fischer says:

          That does not apply hear. The pregnancy was not viable, so no innocent blood. You also have to remember the Bible was written by people from their prospective. What makes the Bible a better/more important book than any other holy book?

          1. Mary Coyle says:

            Actually it says that the baby won’t make it. It doesn’t say that the baby doesn’t have a heart beat, or that the baby’s life had ended. I have had two miscarriages and both times I had two different ultrasounds and blood work to make sure that the pregnancy has stopped, because the doctor said if they go and do a d and c with out knowing for sure it would be considered an abortion. So I can see the view of the pharmacist.

          2. William says:

            Try writing one better. It is innocent blood. And she did have a choice, unlike what her article said. It’s called birth control or a condom. This isn’t passing judgement for him. It’s him trying to keep his soul from being judged.

          3. Aleeta Stamn says:

            Other articles on this outrage stated the fetus didn’t have a heartbeat. And unless you’re a doctor who actually examined this woman, your implication that her doctor didn’t do a thorough job of determining the facts is slanderous.

          4. msmelanieatkins says:

            I am not condoning nor approving any action. This statement is for info only.

            My OBGYN told my husband and myself that at we needed to abort. Because we were 20 weeks pregnant and already in premature labor. 4 CM dilated at 20 weeks. That doesn’t bode well

            I was told that my child would be blind, probably have spina bifida(sp?), would be mentally and physically retarded and I should terminate the pregnancy for the sake of the child.

            I did not.

            He is now 11. He is in the 98th percentile for height and weight. He is in all honors classes in private school. He has been approved for gifted classes.

            Doctors aren’t always right.

      2. Fiona Stone says:

        To the posters below: The pharmacist could ‘save his soul” by refusing to sell the medication as per Walgreens policy. What he DID NOT have to do is publicly shame the woman. He had the option to pass the prescription to another pharmacist, and if he still wanted to save HER soul as well, he could have decided to discuss the matter with the mother in a private space. The problem here is not denying him his religious rights – it is his feeling that his rights take precedence over plain good manners…when is it ok to discuss such a subject in front of a child and perfect strangers?

    2. John McAllister says:

      Yes, this is why Christians have such a bad name. They’re right up there with ISIS.

      1. John Owens says:

        A Hell of a lot of difference between refusing to participate in an abortion and chopping someone’s head off or setting them on fire.

        1. John Owens says:

          The pharmacist still should have passed her off to another pharmacist, if she actually had a prescription from a doctor.

          1. Tim says:

            John – your’s seems to be the only non-emotional response in this forum. thank you.

          2. John Owens says:

            Thank you, Tim.

          3. Sandra says:

            Good answer.

          4. Chaplain Bill says:

            Employees are hired to do their work not pass it off to a coworker when they do not want to do it. If one can not do the job as required in their job descriptions they should resign or be fired.

          5. John Owens says:

            Yea, Bill, but most pharmacists don’t go to work expecting to have to induce death in another human. I respect that you have a heart for the woman involved, but you seem to have none for her offspring, or for the pharmacist. Try to have compassion for all, if possible. I’m asking.

        2. W Harmon says:

          But come on, you know good and well that many “Christians” would gladly chop off the heads of those who believe differently than they do. So many “Christians” are intolerant and nothing like the Jesus that I read about, tolerant and loving to all.

          1. Fiona Stone says:

            I don’t know this “tolerant” Jesus of which you speak. He is a figment of your imagination, I am afraid. Was it tolerance when he whipped the money lenders out of the temple, called the leaders of the people ‘whited sepulchres” He may well have loved the sinner, but he sure as HECK hated the sin. He loved all, but many times his actions may well have seemed unloving. He called a spade a spade.

    3. hsw says:

      This is not Walgreens policy. They allow pharmacists to hand off a prescription to another pharmacist if they’re unable to fill it for religious reasons, but that doesn’t include scolding the patient. They’re supposed to just quietly hand it off.

      1. Carl Elfstrom says:

        I’m not a lawyer but strongly suggest this woman consult with one. This sounds like defamation of character and very good grounds for a law suit. Winning such a case will start waking people up. Don’t bow down to such offensive people. We don’t have to tolerate such things in the U.S.A.. There are laws that will protect us. If an attorney is reading this I suggest you contact that woman and help her. She might not be aware of there being anything she can do about it.

      2. DELECIA J GIBSON says:

        Not to mention HIPPA violations of carrying on such a discussion in front of others. She should seek legal recourse for his actions. She was already emotionally traumatized by her situation, and he added to it. As a 30 year psych nurse veteran and a pharmacy tech. This is reprehensible.

        1. Chaplain Bill says:

          Ms Gibson, Should be grounds for firing the employee. Can you imagine going into a diner and ordering a hamburger with cheese and the waitress saying i am sorry but you are already over weight and my conscience will not let me participate in your bad health decisions and further more give you a lecture on proper eating habits..

    4. Carl Elfstrom says:

      I won’t be shopping there either.

    5. Alicia Szot says:

      It was ONE pharmacist in ONE Walgreen’s store. So boycotting a whole chain is necessary? Seems a little ridiculous, to me.

      But, Walgreen’s SHOULD make sure that no other pharmacist is doing this and should have two, of different faiths, on duty at all times.

      1. Martha Jacobs says:

        Walgreens did not reach out to Ms. Arteaga until there were 33,000 views of her FB post, when they knew money would be lost rather than immediately when they knew if this woman’s unnecessary pain and suffering.

    6. Laura Solash Gensler says:

      Whatever happened to separation of church and state. You are entitled to your beliefs; however leave them at home when dealing with the public. My grandmother taught me, “show a smile to the devil”. Do what is right and say an extra prayer at home.

    7. Minister Darrell says:

      This is what religious freedom looks like,all may not agree,but this is our constitutional right.As religious people our faith does not leave us when we are at work or out in public.This is what it means to put your faith into practice.While I don’t agree with the lecture that was given,he simply could have had his coworker fill the prescription,this is about preserving religious freedom as guaranteed in the constitution. Minister Darrell

    8. Michael Brown says:

      I am…i love walgreens

  2. Guairdean says:

    This sounds like it’s more about forcing his faith on someone than about a moral objection. If he has a moral objection to dispensing medication prescribed by a physician, he should resign and find more suitable employment.

    1. John McAllister says:

      Since when has Christianity not been about this? They condemn Islam for forcing people to decide and yet they force their views on others.

      1. Tim says:

        (Evangelical) Christianity united with the Papacy is getting ready to enforce one of it’s beliefs on everyone – mandatory sunday worship – the child of the papacy. … wait for it, it’s coming – the signs are all there.

      2. John Owens says:

        That pharmacist didn’t force anything on that woman.

  3. Dan Anderson says:

    To discriminate because of the pharmacist’s “Christian morality” is the same thing as a vegetarian clerk at a supermarket refusing to ring up the meat products of an omnivore customer, or a boutique clothier who refuses to sell a suit merely because the suit is made of polyester or of wool and linen.

    Ludicrous.

  4. Ruth says:

    It would be nice if COMMON SENSE is restored in people. Is it possible to begin a Common Sense campaign?

    1. John McAllister says:

      Gee. A Common Sense Campaign in America? Don’t think it fits with “Ban all Guns” and “Ban all Muslims.” Intolerance has become the new fad. It seems like the 70s was much more tolerant, Yeah, we had racial issues from some, and anti-gay issues, but it seems like we were a lot more open to different groups.

      1. Canadian Yankee says:

        If common sense were all that common there would be a lot more of it. 🙁

      2. Lea Weis says:

        Miss those days.

  5. Mark says:

    In our current political environment – we are going to see more and more individuals being denied service as frustrated citizens want to make a point – Let’s Make America Normal Again!

    1. John Owens says:

      Not exactly sure what you meant, but I agree with what you said.

    2. emanuel says:

      exactly, if things continue as they are I can clearly see America going back to having signs and designated areas for groups and types of people. Rosa Parks would be very sad.

      1. John Owens says:

        She would be sad at college students wanting safe spaces, too, I believe.

  6. Canadian Yankee says:

    I think it would be interesting to have a simple button one could use like on Facebook that shows we agree with the statement or disagree. A thumbs up and a thumbs down would be good. Anyone else feel that way.

  7. John Owens says:

    I don’t think you can force a person to participate in an abortion against their will, except for the baby of course, who has no say.

    1. John McAllister says:

      The way I understand this, and I might be wrong, the “baby” won’t survive to term. It’s not really “abortion” in this case. It won’t survive and this may put the mother at risk. Even if it doesn’t, it is cruel to make her carry a dead baby to term and then deliver a corpse to be discarded.

      I’m strongly against abortion. But, in this case, it’s out of HER hands. She’s not choosing this. At this point, it’s minimally invasive and much less risk to her. In X months, they cut into her, risking her life, to remove a corpse. In Jewish law, this would be allowed. The mother’s life saved at the expense of the already lost unborn.

      1. hsw says:

        You understand correctly. Her other option is a D&C. She’s going to miscarry one way or the other.

      2. John Owens says:

        Okay, if the baby is dead, then getting it out is practicing medicine. If it is alive, the pharmacist would still be participating in an abortion. How many people here would actually want to participate in an execution of a criminal or euthanasia of a terminally ill person?

        1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

          J.O. did you not even read the article? It clearly states this was a need not a want, and that the fetus was not viable.

          1. John Owens says:

            T, my statement should clearly explain that euthanizing a living baby is how the pharmacist viewed it. I completely understand that was it was unacceptable to participate in that, but the prescription should have been given to someone else to be filled.

            I am not trying to decide for the woman what she should do, and I would never preach at her about it, but I would not want to participate in taking a living child’s life. That is how many people view abortion, I among them. In this case, death could have been the more merciful thing for the baby, or else the doctor would not have prescribed the particular drugs that were prescribed.

            I DO believe in mercy killing in certain circumstances, but I also know how to kill and butcher my own meat, fish, or poultry, and most people do not have the stomach for it. If they cannot stand to kill and butcher a chicken, they probably cannot stand to kill a baby. I know half the country does not see it that way these days, but for many of us it would be like taking part in a child sacrifice.

            Some of us on both sides of this issue are much less contemplative than others, and those who do not have the gift (or curse) of contemplation may come down adamantly for or against it, without giving thought to the nuances particular to each individual case.

            I still think it was okay for the pharmacist to not participate, but not okay to rebuke the woman. The correct path for me, had I been the pharmacist would have been to politely and gently ask the woman to wait a few moments, and then speak to a coworker or call another pharmacist who would serve her needs. I might even have called her doctor to reassure MYSELF that the child could not possibly survive.

            I just do not think that we should be cavalier about taking human life. I think and evaluate before cutting down a tree. I DO cut them, but not without cause.

        2. Martha Jacobs says:

          Euthanasia is an ultimate kindness to end pain and suffering and help maintain whatever bit of dignity a person may have.

          1. John Owens says:

            I say that about serial killers and pedophiles, but not many people agree with me. Still, I think a person is better off dead than being a predator.

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      That depends on how many people are holding them down.

      1. Lori Mongillo says:

        LOL!

    3. Rev. Ned says:

      So. If filling the prescription would have made the pharmacist a participant in an abortion and by baking a cake would make the baker a participant in gay wedding, then would the firearms dealer, who legally sells a gun and/or ammo to an individual, be a participant in any subsequent crimes they are used in?

      1. Tom says:

        Rev. Ned…well put…although most will not admit it, consistency is not the hallmark of most people…Peace…Tom

        1. MsMarie says:

          Consistency? Like being okay with late term abortion in the 29th week but raising Cain when a premature baby is born in the 29th week and dies from not getting medical treatment because of the parents faith… is THIS the kind of consistency you’re referring to?

          And since the Firearms dealer is selling a legal firearm to a legal customer, he would be a party to the LEGAL use of the firearm for personal protection. Yes. But as he is selling a legal firearm to a legal customer, he would not be responsible if someone committed an ILLEGAL act with it.

          I realize you won’t concede the difference…. #walkaway

          1. Tom says:

            Ms Marie…what part of your ego led you to write your last sentence…and i am not talking about what is or is not legal…the sale of guns promotes violence, and i am against violence…that has nothing to do with legality, which is man-made…the positon of using “faith healing” as a substitute for medical help is a misunderstanding of what is God…the true consistency is accepting that everything that happens is from God, whether it is things you like or not, and your acceptance makes your life much easier…Peace…Tom

          2. John Owens says:

            Nice one Marie.

      2. Lori Mongillo says:

        Very well said. It’s exactly the same thing….. and the odd thing is that many of the firearms dealers are very Christian, yet take no responsibility for putting the guns in the wrong hands. It’s hard to understand.

      3. John Owens says:

        If the person was known to them to be a hot-head or criminal, then yes, to some degree.

  8. Martha Knight says:

    This unfortunate woman was carrying a dead or doomed fetus. A dear friend of mine who was pregnant with what she and her husband had hoped would be their fourth child suffered some kind of accident or illness that caused the unborn to die. Her OB/GYN told her it would not be safe or possible to induce labor at that point, so she had to endure several weeks of seeming pregnancy, carrying a dead unborn that slowly got smaller. This was so devastating to her and her husband. Eventually she was hospitalized and had some procedure, maybe a D&C. I don’t think the medication was available, to induce a therapeutic abortion. So this teacher was being told she should carry a dead or dying fetus for an unknown period of time? How inhumane!

  9. John McAllister says:

    Kind of sounds like a Christian man, huh? Even American courts recognize when something is cruel and unusual.

  10. BethKZ says:

    Moreover, sepsis is a risk from carrying a dead foetus. Often, they are expelled, but when they’re not, they have to be done surgically or via medication. The result is that the mother gets sepsis – a systemic blood infection, which is difficult and expensive to treat, and is often fatal.

    Should her other children be left motherless because someone’s religion and morality says she should carry it and live or die naturally? If he feels that fatalistic toward God’s will, perhaps he should go into a different line of work.

  11. Wendy says:

    I hope he loses his job. I’ve had an emergency room D&C to remove a dead fetus at about 16 weeks. Would I have rather not had to experience that invasiveness and pain and listening to the sound of the curette scraping the inside of my uterus? Absolutely! I’ve been in her position, and I wish the drugs to induce miscarriage had been available then. This poor woman didn’t deserve to be harangued by a sanctimonious twit.

  12. Ricky Kathrine says:

    I’ve also been denied my prescriptions for HIV and cholesterol for months by a pharmacy in Nevada. Over a billing dispute between the insurance company and a Specialty Pharmacy from Indiana. And I’m suppose to be protected by the state of Nevada 3for free law for ALL MEDICATIONS.Who are the prescription police! My health is in ruins… I’m on GoFundMe… Search under ‘RETIRED PARAMEDIC’ and I should pop up… I need legal and financial assistance and can’t find anyone to help me. My HIV virus is eating me up alive. And the NV ADAP staff hasn’t helped out yet at all. It’s suppose to be a federal 3fir free law. Whom do I call. Please help if you can.. Pray if your able. Please post my GoFundMe page around. I can’t figure out how to get it out to the public for assistance. I’m not that computer literate.

    1. Ricky Kathrine says:

      Right who ARE THE PRESCRIPTION POLICE..?

  13. Larry says:

    Who gave her the right to kill a human Satan!!!

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      You better be careful with your words. Satan might come after you next. Only God has the power to condemn.

    2. Stephanie Willey says:

      Larry, the fetus in this case is unviable, which means it is already dead.

    3. Canadian Yankee says:

      You are assuming that everyone buys into the primitive belief that God would create an evil being just to give him someone to do battle with as humans play the role of pawns. Do you also believe that sacrificing a virgin will appease the volcano gods?

    4. Lea Weis says:

      Larry..Go look for your heart..

    5. Craig says:

      a human Satan? How do you know it’s Satan before it’s even born????

      1. John Owens says:

        He just forgot his comma, I think, but I’m guessing you realized that, and were making a funny.

  14. Stephanie Willey says:

    Doctors write prescriptions for medically necessary treatments. The pharmacist’s refusal to fill that prescription is professionally irresponsible at the least.

  15. James says:

    I think everyone gets too deep in to other people’s business. Maybe we need to pass a nose bleed law.. Mind your own beeswax or get smacked in the nose. I think this story is a hoax like most on this chain of emails. Gossip

    1. Lori Mongillo says:

      And…..why are you here????

  16. Tom says:

    It would be better if people with jobs serving the public simply served the public, and did not make personal, ego-driven choices as to who to serve…Peace…Tom

    1. John Owens says:

      Like the owner of the Red Hen in Lexington.

      1. Casey Marks says:

        You can discriminate against would be customers for what they do, like in the case of not serving a Trumpy. You can’t discriminate based on who they are, like by race or sexual orientation. Unless you want to argue the Huckabee Sanders is mentally unsound and that she was denied on the basis of her being medically crazy, which I’d say that reasoning has some merit. Otherwise, we can kick her butt to the curb every day of the week and it’s legal

        1. John Owens says:

          And you can go broke for being a moron. That is your right. The point here was, it was a personal, ego-driven choice at the Red Hen, as at this pharmacy. I think it should have been handled differently, but you still cannot force a person to participate in a killing.

          1. Canadian Yankee says:

            You are absolutely right that the Red Hen was handled very poorly and I disapprove of not serving anyone that comes into the store and behaves appropriately. You are also right that you can not make someone participate in killing but you can fire an employee that refuses to serve the customers you hired them to serve. I would have fired the employee on the spot for not serving the customer and for violating the HIPPA rules for privacy by lecturing her in front of her son. Her act in that instance alone is illegal and unprofessional.

        2. John Owens says:

          I cannot refuse to serve MY customers and still keep my job regardless of the reason, unless I feared for my life, but, I sell truck, heavy equipment and lift truck parts. There is always the potential of life depending on what I do, but it would depend more on the mechanic than me, and not to the degree of that of a medical professional.

        3. Jim says:

          So if you go into a restaurant and act like everyone else you should be kicked out because of your political leanings. What would happen if that happened to Obama. Do you think it would be looked at like its because of what he does. Of course the color of his skin would not be a problem right Casey? Because Sanders is a white female she can be kicked out of a restaurant for who she works for??? People better start thinking long and hard about the way the left is starting to go after people for who they work for, and the fact that Democratic leaders encourage this type of behavior. You are going down a road that I think will have some serious repercussions later.

          1. John Owens says:

            Yes, Jim. We are not going back to the days when they could call us anything they like and we could not respond in kind. Tolerance was a tool they used to submit us. No more. They should think long and hard, and try to reason it out.

  17. george says:

    What a sanctimonious piece of garbage, you do NOT judge, you are not in that position – it is a pity that firm do not dismiss you, you are not doing your job.

  18. cayugalakehomesteaders says:

    Everyone is entitled to their own set of moral values that dictates how to live life. However the debate is in the realm of work and job performance. I could never refuse to do my job based on my beliefs. I would be disciplined or fired. It’s a shame. It’s getting harder and harder to have your meds paid for through insurances now as it is. I agree with Ricky Katherine about the control of insurance companies refusing/delaying payments. It happens with my grandson all the time. If insurance doesn’t pick up the tab – I have to come up with hundreds of dollars as out of pocket. But that’s an entirely different moral dilemma.

  19. T'Keren Valmaz says:

    This is exactly the kind of behavior Hilldog was describing when she used the word deplorable. This low life waste of air is exactly why more and more people in civilized societies feel a need to end all forms of religion. Which is sad to me but not at all hard to understand when we read accounts like this one of someone suffering already being verbally abused in public by a person that clearly doesnt understand nor believe in the faith they profess to have a deep belief in.

    I do feel more then ever its become time to tear down the old archaic foundations, let new forms of faith built upon our modern understanding of the universe we live in rise up. No more do we need to give faith to unseen creators or holy spirits of the 4 elements which are not even elements.

    This woman did nothing wrong and was harassed and imo verbally assaulted by this false follower of the man called Jesus The Christ. My heart feels heavy in sorrow for the pain she feels. My hands clench into fists of rage for this cruel and callow fool that needs to be made to suffer every waking moment for the remainder of their days upon this world.

  20. Jim says:

    If dispensing drugs that a doctor prescribed to her goes against her religion then she needs to find another job. She has no business being in a pharmacy. They should fire her.

  21. Alice Looney says:

    I’d be looking to have that pharmacist charged with reckless endangerment, since a licensed doctor has indicated that this a proper treatment for her condition, which could, BTW, cause infertility or even death if it is not treated promptly and properly. And this is a pharmacist, NOT a licensed physician, so his refusal to provide the medication prescribed by a licensed doctor amounts to this pharmacist practicing medicine illegally! Finally, berating this woman in public and in front of her children is beyond unprofessional! This pharmacist should loose his/her license!

  22. Ronda Fields says:

    I am tired of those so called Christians using their beliefs to discriminate against others. I already refuse to go the Hobby Lobby and Chick Fil A. Guess I will have to add Walgreens to the list. Mind your own business and do the job you are being paid for. If I want your opinion, I will ask for it.

    1. Melandria says:

      Do you feel the same about the Muslim florist who refused to cater to a gay wedding? The Muslim baker who decided the same? The Muslim truck drivers hired to deliver beverages who resided to deliver beer and expected to be paid nonetheless because it was their religious convictions?

      Why do the leftists CONSTANTLY hammer Christians while giving a free pass to Muslims?

      A Christian father who refused to let his daughter wear or do what she wants is an outrage… feminists up in arms. But the middle eastern father who finds the one doc in the US to do a clit removal goes practically unreported. Smh. Where does the hypocrisy end??

  23. Melandria says:

    Just funny that no one berated the Muslim driver who refused to deliver beer (I support that right!) the Muslim baker who refused to make the Gay wedding cake (I also support that one!). Why is it that it’s open season on Christians, and no one says ANYTNING about Muslims doing the exact same thing? It’s hyprocisy.

  24. Jim D says:

    We don’t need more laws to dictate what we need to believe. This is where a free marketplace steps in and fixes everything. Follow this line of thinking:
    – Customer goes to store and is refused service because the employee is ethically challenged.
    – Customer goes to another store and has no problem getting the service requested.
    – Customer tells as many people as possible and lets them choose what they want to do.
    – If enough people side with customer, they all stop going to that store until it changes it’s policy or goes out of business.

    It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a woman and a pharmacy or a gay couple and a bakery. Same rules apply. What I can’t understand is why anyone would want government to pass laws that tell us what we have to believe, or more precisely, what we are forced to do in spite of what we believe. That’s never a good idea. A free and open marketplace will weed out the bad and keep the good. Always has, always will.

  25. Chaplain Bill says:

    Your supposed line of thinking would take us back to segregated lunch counters and other such horrors. For most of the history of the USA people accepted the idea that businesses could discriminate and the majority supported it. I think they still would, if it hits them in the wallet. A store sells for less but does not allow people of color. That store would still prosper. The local hospital chooses only to treat Caucasian people, when a person has a heart attack do you really think they would say, “Hey let me die before you take me there.”

    Government action to support the “Legitimate” needs of minorities is important and to me when you put a sign up Open For Business that should be for everyone who is civil and can pay for the service.

    1. Melandria says:

      Wow. That is a well worded straw man!! No one is talking about race. This is about religious beliefs. Deeply held convictions that a life is a life and murder is murder. Not being willing to participate in murder is HARDLY the same as refusing someone service based on color.

      I support EVERYONES right to believ or not believe whatever they choose. Muslims shouldn’t have to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Neither should Christians if they don’t support it. There are other bakeries available. Someone having a heart attack is NOT the same. Denying medical care based on color is wrong. Refusing to willing participate in what one sees as homicide is completely different.

      1. Chaplain Bill says:

        Strawman my butt, there is no justification for any person going into a store to buy a legal service in a civil manner with the proper money to be denied service.

        So a man with a yarmulke goes into a service station to get gas and the attendant refuses to serve him on the basis of his religious beliefs, you think that is fine. Face it you may think yourself a defender or the right but to me you are a bigot and probably one that would scream to high heavens if someone refused to service you.

        1. Melandria says:

          first- you don’t know me. So let’s keep the personal attacks elsewhere. I didn’t attack you and I’d appreciate the same respect. No. I wouldn’t ‘scream to high heavens’. I would spend my money somewhere with the same values that I hold.

          This article and these comments are about someone being refused the abortion pill. NOT about someone being refused service based on race, and your entire comment is race related.

          So yes. Straw man. Debate the topic. Without twisting or mincing it.

          But I would love to know your opinion on the Red Hen. Where members of the White House were refused service and kicked out based on political affiliation, then followed to the restaurant across the street for more of the same.

          Or Maxine Waters calling for people to harass, berate and abuse people for the same.

          What say you?

          1. Chaplain Bill says:

            To answer you question about how I feel in the Red Hen case please read my first statement about doing business. But since you didn’t I will repeat it.

            “There is no justification for any person going into a store to buy a legal service in a civil manner with the proper money to be denied service.”

            One can be a bigot in things other than race, and one is know by the beliefs they hold and how they impact those beliefs on other. You and manager of the Red Hen appear to be cut out of the same cloth.

            If calling you by what you appear is an attack then maybe you need to look at how you appear.

        2. Jim D says:

          Bill, it’s the difference between legislated change and organic change. Yes, I’m sure there is a gas station somewhere that would love to not serve Jews, and I’m sure there are a few gentiles that would love to go to a gas station knowing Jews would be refused service. So pass a law that says you cannot discriminate. Does the law make the gas station owner stop hating Jews? No. Does it make the bigoted gentiles stop hating Jews? No. If anything, it makes them hate Jews that much more because now they are forced to go against their beliefs.

          Organic change is slower but more effective and more permanent. Over the course of time, as we, as a people, evolve socially, we realize there is room in this world for everyone regardless of religious beliefs or skin color or sexual orientation. More and more people of younger generations (younger than mine, and I’m guessing younger than yours) will see the ridiculousness of refusing service to someone just because of who they are, and that younger generation has no problem boycotting such an establishment. Eventually the anti-Jew gas station cannot sustain itself on the meager bit of revenue it gets from a handful of bigots and is forced out of business.

          If you think this isn’t real, you should watch a little TV. Not the shows so much, but the commercials. I see more and more commercials featuring gay couples and mixed race couples, sometimes even a gay, mixed race couple. Are there people out there that are offended by this? I’m sure there are. They may stop buying that product, or even stop watching that channel. But those people are in an extremely small minority. Chances are they are much older and don’t have a lot of time left on this planet anyway. Younger generations that are more accepting of diversity watch a lot of TV and buy a lot of stuff.

          Like it or not, Bill, the free marketplace beats legislation every time.

          1. Melandria says:

            But again. No one is refusing to serve someone because of who they (the customer) is or because of their race, religion, creed, whatever! This is a case of a person NOT wanting to participate in what he believes is homicide. Organic change won’t change people not wanting violating their conscious’.

          2. Melandria says:

            Unless your suggesting that organic change is more than just being more accepting. Perhaps your suggesting that the change you speak of is a change in morality… if so, I would have to agree that the upcoming generation has a lower moral standard than generations past. They scream ‘sanctity of life’ with regard to the newborn dying after being born premature and his parents not getting him medical treatment because of their faith, but that same infant aborted in the same week of gestation is perfectly fine. And the procedure to even be celebrated. I see this hypocrisy. Late term abortion is okay but not getting the child treatment when he was born at 29 weeks is evil.

            No matter which side of the debate you’re on, abortion isn’t to be celebrated. IMHO.

            (Personally, I believe they SHOULD have gotten him treatment. Just as I believe that a late term abortion at 29 weeks is unethical and, in MY opinion, homicide.).

          3. Melandria says:

            Bill. Either you’re not reading my response, not understanding my response, or are choosing to ignore the point I’ve been trying to make. Racism is wrong. There’s no place for it. What I’m TRYING to get across to you is that it is COMPLETLY different because didn’t matter who or what SHE was or is. He denied the service based on HIS belief that its murder. Do you understand that had she been white or black, man or woman, Christian Buddhist or Muslim, he would have taken the same action.

            Further, you’re getting a one sided story here. HE claims he didn’t admonish her. He simply, quietly stated that he couldn’t fill the script based on his religious beliefs and claims he advised her to return in 3 hours when the next shift arrived to fill the script as there wasn’t another Pharmisist there at the time. Is that true? I have no idea. Is her side true? I have no idea. The only thing I know for sure is that he wouldn’t fill the script. So. The HIPPA argument and such isn’t in question. I do not want to debate those issues when neither of us were there and at this point it’s he said/she said… literally.

            Denying anyone service based on their race religion creed etc, is wrong. Refusing to be complicit in what the man saw as murder is different.

            Just as the people in Nazi Germany who refused to take part in the holocaust followed their conscious, he too will pay a price for doing so. The liberal media will hang him out to dry, just as those folks in WW2 likely wound up in concentration camps. There is a price to be paid for following your conscious. But if it’s something you felt strongly about, would you be willing to pay that price?

          4. Melandria says:

            Btw: I’m very sorry for your experience as a child. THAT was wrong. There is no place in a civilized society for that type of behavior.

        3. Melandria says:

          Bill,

          I’m responding here bc there isn’t a reply button under your last response.

          We have some common ground! 👍🏻

          I agree that discriminating based one someone’s race, creed, gender, sex, religion, political affiliation… well, anything is wrong.

          But that’s not what happened here. It wasn’t HER or anything about her. It was HIS conscious. His belief that he would be participating in homicide.

          Can we agree on that at least?

          On a side note:
          ‘What I appear to be’? Where did I say it was ok to discriminate? I didn’t. How you perceive me isn’t my problem. I perceived it as an attack as I felt you were judging me by implying that I was a bigot. And MY perception isn’t your problem. I just prefer open debate that isn’t personal. I’ve not applied any perceived stereotypes to you, and I kinda expect the same. There is absolutely no reason we can’t meet in the middle. There is also no reason we can’t have an open civil discussion even if we disageee! IMHO that’s whats desperately needed in our society. Discussion. No one can see anything from another point of view without it. I don’t engage to argue. I like to discuss topics and get others perspectives. 🙏🏻

          1. Chaplain Bill says:

            How can you justify a person taking a salary for a job and then refusing to fulfill the job? I have no problem with the employee choosing an employment that suits their beliefs. I do have a problem with those who take an employers money and then disrespect the customer. Another prime example of that is those football players who would not stand for the national anthem when played as a part of the occasion for which they were being paid to attend. How about a person that is a waiter but also is a vegan, should they expect the other waiters to take out any order involving meet?

            Being of one religion or another does not give one the right to not do the work they have excepted and are being paid to do. It is my opinion that anyone who treats and employers customer who is behaving civilly, in a disrespectful manner (not serving them) should be discharged on the spot.

            In this instance, the pharmacist not only refused to do the job but also went further violating HIPPA rules. I will be surprised if they don’t lose their License for unprofessional conduct.

            Sadly your are still making excuses for someone who accepted a job and refuses to do it.

            BTW I would respect the pharmacist if he or she were to leave the profession because the did not believe they could serve all the public who came to them with a legal prescription.

            You have set a very slippery slope. You said my lunch counter comments were not relevant, but there is little difference why someone is prejudice be it color or religion and if one can not set that aside they should not be in positions serving the public.

            BTW when I was very young and deeply tanned a circus ticket taker took me for being black and refused entrance to me and my mother. As mother tells it the man told her he and the circus did not want the likes of us in their show. It would have been an affront to him to have us in the tent. He held that belief with your thinking if it is a deeply held belief then the person should be allowed to act on it.

  26. Craig says:

    This brings up another example of that separation of beliefs. Just because you have certain beliefs, and beliefs that are not shared by all, in the workplace are you allowed to enforce your beliefs on others??? That’s the bottom line.

    Beliefs are individual, as much as people don’t like to believe that :). The fact is, even among religions, individual constituents don’t all believe the same things on every front. And, when you are passionate about your own beliefs (as we all are), it’s hard to understand how others can’t “see” those same truths.

    However, what you believe personally shouldn’t take precedence in the workplace. Obviously in this case Walgreens made provisions for workers, but that particular pharmacist didn’t follow his own work place policies–and it was dealt with. Should the penalty have been stronger because of what that pharmacist put this woman through? I guess that’s between the woman and that particular Walgreens.

    As humans we have to remember that while we have beliefs and are passionate, we are not the divine and it is not our job to judge others. That’s reserved for the higher powers.

  27. Tom says:

    1st of all, I’m not shopping at Walgreens anymore because of this incident. What a scum bag that pharmacist is. As far as Christianity is concerned, at least it’s still better than islam.

  28. Sherri Lawton says:

    These people in retail who think their religious views Trump my right as a consumer to obtain a legal product – whether a marriage license or birth control pills or Plan B – ALL need to be summarily and immediately fired!! There is no moral high road here, they are simply refusing to do the job they were hired to do. And as a woman who had faced these types of decisions, I’ll bet my last some that pharmacist has no such moral “questioning” over dispensing Cialis or Viagra!!!

  29. Shane Lowrey says:

    If they won’t do their job, they shouldn’t keep it. Reminds my of a certain Kentucky clerk…

    1. Sherri Lawton says:

      She did start something, didn’t that old gal? My opinion is she and AMY others who refuse to do their job, should be out of their jobs!! As an atheist I don’t care what their religious views are — just do your job, or stay home!!!
      Sherri Lawton

  30. Gwendolyn Lord says:

    Women’s bodies, women’s rights. Until men have a fully functioning uterus, ovaries and vagina, they need to MTOB.

    Separation of Church and State~~~State would also imply ALL lay situations. Businesses, schools, courthouses.

    In my professional career outside of ministry, I have often differed greatly in opinion and moral values from my employers. However, I was in a business environment, not a faith-based one, so I kept my beliefs to myself. As a medical professional, in being a pharmacist, he can only offer a caution about side effects or interactions. Not a sermon, lecture, or diatribe.
    He should be censored for his poor judgement, and other employees should be educated as to appropriate conduct.

  31. MsMarie says:

    You believe that selling guns promotes violence. That’s pretty short sighted. Statistically, cities that disallow firearms and firearms sales are the most dangerous in the country. Chicago, Washington DC, Detroit, New Orleans… some folks exercise their 2nd amendment right for protection of themselves and their families.
    On the flip side, places that have the least restrictions (allowing open carry and such) have the LOWEST violent crime rates. Perhaps criminals are less likely to victimize someone who is armed…?

    Gun laws are great for those who follow them. Generally, criminals don’t give a toss about the law… hence the moniker criminal.

    And ego? No. Just tired of trying to have a sensible debate with folks who are close minded. The divide in this country is becoming insurmountable. There is no open discourse. There is no civil debate. Lately if someone disagrees with you, rather than debate, you get name calling and the equivelant of a toddler putting his hands over his ears and screaming. It seems one side won’t listen to the other side. And I refer to both liberals and conservatives.

    At this point I will #walkaway because for some reason we are discussing gun control on an article that is in reference to abortion and religious freedoms.

    Have a blessed weekend.

    1. Tom says:

      MsMarie…i am not comparing anything…i hope you would agree that if there were no guns at all, there would be no gun violence…and using guns to defend yourself is simply meeting violence with violence, and this is not a God-like response…do you think there is violence in God?…i do not…Peace…Tom

      1. Jim D says:

        You’re right, Tom. If there were no guns, there would be no gun violence. However, there would still be knife violence, rocks violence, baseball bat violence, fist violence, feet violence, lead pipe violence, brick violence, vehicle violence, broken bottle violence, chain violence, hammer violence, screwdriver, violence, 2-by-4 violence, and a bazillion other kinds of violence. Guns don’t cause violence. They are just a tool. Look at how much damage Sampson did with the jawbone of an ass.

        Do I think there is violence in God? Doesn’t matter. I know there is violence in people.

        1. Lori Mongillo says:

          Whoo-hoo! This is right on. I’m not a gun person by any means, but I agree that the problem runs much deeper than the tools of violence. Violence is a very natural (I’m not saying acceptable) thing. It’s the reason our planet is what it is. The violence of creation has changed and remade, over and over again, every nook and cranny of earth and beyond. Education of how to direct human violence constructively would be the most beneficial thing that could be introduced to the public, beginning at a very early age. Learning to understand why we do the things we do and how we can use it, instead of just punishing the action, could open many eyes.

          1. Jim D says:

            Lori, I am actually very impressed that you admit you are not a “gun person” and you are able to see the pure logic in what I said. Kudos to you. Most non-gun people simply don’t get it, or they do but refuse to admit it.

          2. Melandria says:

            I second Jim D on this… it’s refreshing to see someone who can look at an opposing viewpoint with rational and even while disagreeing, still find some common ground 😊

  32. Secretary3rd says:

    If my sister was denied service by this guy, she would have called me and I would have read him the riot act or put the fear of his God into him. It is not that I shall put the Will of God into him as it is the fear of God into him. If you believe in a God as well as a Devil then you will serve me. If you do not then from this point on Hell will be not only your life, but your family.

    I usually get serve. Hell is so easy to give.

  33. Chaplain Bill says:

    It seems very simple to me, either do your job or quit and start something new. If you take a job that might violate your beliefs you are wrong for taking it. How is that not clear. To muck it all up with religion is a red herring.

    Can you imagine going into a diner and ordering a hamburger with cheese and the waitress saying i am sorry but you are already over weight and my conscience will not let me participate in your bad health decisions and further more give you a lecture on proper eating habits..

    Just wrong to fail to do your job when the request of you is legal and civil.

  34. Chaplain Bill says:

    Please give us a button that allows us to show agreement with a statement.

  35. Jeff says:

    Wow, was this the only pharmacy in the area? Could she take her prescription someplace else? We seem to be condemning people for their Christian faith while at the same time praising the Muslims that work at Walmarts that refuse to handle alcoholic beverages. Or the Muslim waiters and waitresses that refuse to serve alcohol or serve pork, yes it has happened and the activists praised them for their faith, but a Christian exercising the same right is condemned, we cannot be hypocrites, we have to be fair across the board. We have to allow people to exercise their religious preferences. No one was hurt by this, except maybe some pride.

    1. Lori Mongillo says:

      It’s very sad that our view of religion, which is a very personal thing, has so much control over how we verbally abuse others. If a person takes a job serving the public, that is what they should be doing, no matter what their spiritual practice. The fact that no two people think alike and no two people see God the same way, is something that every intelligent person should be aware of and respectful of…..and yet, the arrogance and ignorance still exists believing that “you alone” or your particular group, hold the secrets of faith and others are lost. It’s so difficult to understand how any constructive person can come to this determination, continually bashing others to elevate their own beliefs, while defending inappropriate actions and attributing it to their religion and God.

  36. Melandria says:

    Wow!!! There IS someone else with some sense on this board! Exactly the points I’ve TRIED to make. I’ve been met with straw-man arguments, name calling, and misdirection but no one has been willing to give any valid argument as to why it’s okay to condemn Christians while giving a free pass to Muslims or atheists.

  37. Mark L says:

    The pharmacist violated HIPPA laws. This is grounds for immediate dismissal of the employee and fines for Walgreens. It is a legal issue. What ever his reasons it was unlawful.

  38. Church of the One says:

    I am European and therefore some things in the USA seem strange to me and therefore I may not be competent to judge. My opinion is that if the pharmacist had his own business then he should be free to conduct it how he wished. However this person was an employee and should work according to company policy.

    1. Lori Mongillo says:

      I agree with you.

  39. j says:

    What did I read ? .. The customer wanted a prescription filled to induce a miscarriage? AND is denied. Then screams, “No Woman Should Have to Endure This”. I say…… EXACTLY…. No woman (or man) should ever have to endure this crap? That includes the rights of the pharmacist as well as the customer. “No Woman Should Have to Endure This” abuse of ego. I want, you give or I’ll complain & sue. You want? Great… Find a business that will give… in a balanced mutual exchange.

    1. Melandria says:

      Yes. This. So much. 👏🏻

Leave a Comment