A woman who has just learned that she lost her baby shouldn’t have to spend time shopping around for a pharmacist who will fill the prescription her doctor has ordered.
But that’s exactly what happened to Brittany Cartrett of Milledgeville when she lost her pregnancy. Her doctor prescribed Misoprostol — which can also be used to induce abortions — to help her complete the miscarriage. But the pharmacist at the local Walmart refused to fill the prescription, simply saying, “I don’t feel like there is a reason why you would need it.”
Regardless of the reason the Walmart pharmacist gave for refusing to fill the prescription, one thing is clear: Pharmacists should not be able to put their own personal “ethical or moral” opinions ahead of a doctor’s order.
What makes Cartrett’s traumatic experience even worse is that she’s not the first Georgia woman to go through this – and unless the law changes, she won’t be the last.
When she shared her story on social media, more women commented that they had experienced the same situation at other pharmacies. And we have no idea how many Georgia women have been put through the same painful ordeal but have chosen to remain silent about it. The fact is, even one woman is too many.
Unfortunately, Georgia is one of six states that fails to protect women faced with this situation.
Since the broad ‘pharmacist refusal’ law passed in Georgia in 2006, pharmacists throughout the state can legally override a physician’s orders, simply because of their personal “ethical or moral” beliefs.
A pharmacist’s duty should be to fill prescriptions based on physicians’ orders. And a woman’s healthcare decisions should be between her and her doctor. Period.
Walmart — and all pharmacies — should always have a pharmacist available to fill any valid prescription. It’s time to call on Georgia lawmakers to make sure that what happened to Brittany Cartrett does not ever happen to another woman in Georgia.
There are women all over the state — particularly in rural areas — who don’t have the option of going to another pharmacy if their pharmacist decides to substitute their judgment for that of the treating physician’s.
It’s time to take a stand and tell our lawmakers to repeal Georgia’s backwards, senseless law that puts women’s health and privacy in danger.