Minnesota pharmacist who refused to fill morning-after tablet prescription didn’t discriminate, jury claims

A Minnesota jury ruled Friday that a pharmacist who refused to fill a prescription for the morning-after pill for your “beliefs” did not violate the woman’s civil rights under state law, but caused emotional harm and said she should be entitled to $25,000 in damages.

But a lawyer for pharmacist George Badeaux said Andrea Anderson is unlikely to receive a cent because the jury concluded she was not discriminated against on the basis of gender.

“We are extremely pleased with the jury’s decision,” attorney Charles Shreffler said in a statement. “Medical professionals should be able to practice their profession freely according to their beliefs.”

Anderson, 2019 filed a civil lawsuit against pharmacist George Badeaux after she was forced to travel 100 miles round trip to get the contraceptive, said she plans to appeal the jury’s verdict to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

“I can’t help but wonder about the other women who may be turned away,” Anderson said in a statement. “What if they accept the pharmacist’s decision and don’t realize that this behavior is wrong? What if they have no other option? Not everyone has the ability or the ability to travel hundreds of kilometers to fill a prescription.”

Anderson was represented by attorneys at Gender Justice, based in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“To be clear, Minnesota law prohibits discrimination based on sex, and that includes denying prescriptions for emergency contraception,” said Gender Justice Legal Director Jess Braverman. “The jury didn’t decide what the law was, they decided the facts of what happened here in this particular case.” We will appeal this decision and will not stop fighting until Minnesotans cannot get the health care they need from providers who put their personal beliefs ahead of their legal and ethical obligations to their patients.

In what appears to be the first case of its kind, Anderson filed a lawsuit under the Minnesota Human Rights Act three years ago against Badeaux and the pharmacy where he works.

Anderson, a mother of five, was searching morning pill Ella in 2019 month of January. at the only pharmacy in his hometown of McGregor (pop. 391) after a condom broke during sex.

But Badeaux, who has distributed drugs from McGregor Thrifty White Pharmacy for four decades and is also a local preacher, refused to fill Anderson’s prescription, saying it would violate his “convictions,” according to the complaint.

“Badeaux informed her that another pharmacist would be available the next day who might be willing to fill the medication but could not guarantee that they would be able to help,” the complaint states.

Badeaux also warned Anderson not to try to fill a prescription at a nearby Shopko’s pharmacy and refused to tell her where else she could try, as required by state law, according to the complaint.

Another pharmacist at CVS in Aitkin also prevented Anderson from filling the prescription.

The complaint alleges that Anderson drove for hours “while a massive snowstorm traveled into central Minnesota” to fill a prescription at a Walgreens in Brainerd.

During the trial, which took place in Aitkin County Circuit Court, Badeaux claimed he “didn’t want to interfere with what she wanted to do.” the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. – Please excuse me.

Although Aitkin County Circuit Judge David Hermerding ruled in a pretrial ruling that Badeaux’s religious rights were not an issue in the main case, the pharmacist spent much of his time on the stand explaining his religious reasons for refusing to fill the contraceptive. prescriptions for Anderson and three other clients during his career.

“I’m a Christian,” he said, according to the Star Tribune. “I believe in God. I love God. I try to live the way He would have me live. That includes respect for every person.

Badeaux’s trial, which began earlier this week, comes as the once-dormant debate over contraception has been reignited. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade β€” and such prominent lawmakers Senator Marsha BlackburnR-Tenn., openly questioning the constitutionality of birth control.

Two weeks ago, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that would guarantee the right to contraception under federal law.

Badeaux currently has an “active Minnesota Board of Pharmacy license,” agency spokeswoman Jill Phillips told NBC News in an email before the sentencing.

Badeaux testified that he objected to Ella’s extradition because it could prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

β€œIt is my belief, based on much thought and reading, that this [fertilized egg] there is a new life,” Badeaux said. “If I do anything to prevent that egg from implanting in the womb… the new life will cease to exist.”

But Ella does not promote abortion. It is a prescription drug that prevents a woman from becoming pregnant when taken within five days of unprotected sex. according to the manufacturer.

CORRECTION (August 5, 2022, 7:13 a.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misreported when the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would guarantee the right to contraception under federal law. That was two weeks ago, not last year.

Leave a Comment