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Georgia Walmart Cites ‘Conscience Clause,’ Refuses To Fill Prescription

A Walmart pharmacist in Milledgeville, Georgia, refused to fill a woman’s valid prescription which her doctor had given her shortly after she suffered a miscarriage.

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Brittany Cartrett said the prescription for Misoprostol was given to her by her doctor shortly after she miscarried five weeks into a recent pregnancy. Use of the drug after a miscarriage can prevent a more invasive procedure being done by a doctor. However, Misoprostol can also be used in conjunction with Mifepristone to end a pregnancy in its early stages.

Cartrett says she believes that because Misoprostol has a dual use, the pharmacist declined to fill the prescription, even though she was given no reason for the refusal.

Recalling the day she attempted to get her prescription filled, Cartrett said:

?She looks at my name and she says ?Oh, well, I couldn’t think of a valid reason why you would need this prescription.? I tell her my reasons for needing it, and she says ?Well, I don’t feel like there is a reason why you would need it, so we refused to fill it.??

When asked why the pharmacy would not fill the prescription, pharmacist Sandip Patel said that under existing Georgia law, a pharmacist can refuse to fill certain prescriptions.


The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), says the Georgia law, which states that pharmacists ?shall not be required to fill a prescription for an emergency contraceptive drug,? is the response of some states? to the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade verdict legalizing abortions. A spokesperson for NCSL added:

?The issue is expanding as pharmacists are refusing to fill emergency contraception and contraception prescriptions. This movement resulted in the term ?conscience clause.'”

Cartrett was able to get the prescription filled at another pharmacy, but says she felt like the Walmart pharmacist was judging her and refused to help her because she didn’t believe in abortion, which is still a legal procedure in the United States.

Perhaps Georgia and Walmart are unaware of the well-known Supreme Court ruling which legalized a woman’s right to choose. Either that, or they simply choose to only observe the laws they agree with.

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