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Planned Parenthood files complaint against Nampa pharmacist

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Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 3:55 pm | Updated: 11:27 pm, Wed Jan 12, 2011.

NAMPA — Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest has filed a letter of complaint with the Idaho Board of Pharmacy regarding the actions of a Nampa pharmacist.

Idaho Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Mark Johnston confirmed that the board received the complaint alleging that on Nov. 6 a Walgreens pharmacist refused to fill a prescription ordered by one of Planned Parenthood's Boise-based nurse practitioners. The prescription was for a Planned Parenthood patient for Methergine, a medicine used to prevent or control bleeding of the uterus following childbirth or an abortion.

An inquiry to Walgreens' Corporate office seeking comment was not immediately addressed.

Planned Parenthood officials said the complaint states that the pharmacist inquired if the patient needed the drug for post-abortion care. The nurse refused to answer the question based on confidentiality of health information.

According to Planned Parenthood, the pharmacist then stated that if the nurse practitioner did not disclose that information, she would not fill the prescription. The nurse alleged that the pharmacist hung up when asked for a referral to another pharmacy that would fill the prescription.

“Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest public affairs staff has since contacted Walgreens' Corporate office, and corrective action was taken with the Nampa pharmacist,” Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest Director of Public Affairs Kristen Glundberg-Prossor said.

Legislation was passed last year giving pharmacists and other health care providers the right to refuse to provide any health care service or dispense any drugs that violates their conscience.

© 2015 Idaho Press-Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Frohickey posted at 9:25 pm on Sun, Jan 16, 2011.

    Frohickey Posts: 1

    The pharmacist's conscience or religious rules cannot apply to their job. They do not have the right to decide who should or should not receive prescribed medication. A doctor may do so only if it won't affect the patient's well-being. If the pharmacist allows their beliefs to direct the way they conduct the business of dispensing prescribed medication, they must leave that profession as it is not their right to second-guess or interfere with the treatment a doctor orders.
    This is yet another example of religion intruding into people's lives uninvited.

  • Vapsod posted at 10:21 pm on Sat, Jan 15, 2011.

    Vapsod Posts: 1

    What happened to first do no harm? The pharmacist in question needs to take a good long look at themselves and ask why they think they can deny a life-SAVING drug to someone, just because they disagree with their medical and reproductive choices. Also, the pharmacist had n o idea why this patient was taking the drug. IT COULD HAVE BEEN FROM A MISCARRIAGE that required a followup abortion to save the patient's life. It could have been an abortion from rape by a family member. It could have not been an abortion at all. And even if it was an abortion, the drug itself was for patient safety and had nothing to do with rejecting a fetus or anything damaging a fetus.

  • yammie posted at 4:39 pm on Fri, Jan 14, 2011.

    yammie Posts: 1

    re: pharmacists the only one without a choice - that's not true. they have the same level of choice as doctors and nurses do regarding this topic.

    if a doctor doesn't want to perform abortions, they do not have to work in a facility that offers them. they have that choice.

    if a pharmacist does not want to serve women who have had abortions, they do not have to work in a facility that dispenses medication related to the abortion procedure. they have that choice.

  • plumberbob posted at 4:37 pm on Fri, Jan 14, 2011.

    plumberbob Posts: 1

    In this instance, is the pharmacist not practicing medicine? If s/he is practicing medicine, is s/he properly licensed to do so? Is this method of evaluating a patient's needs considered proper within the state's approved standards of practice?


  • root151 posted at 3:38 pm on Fri, Jan 14, 2011.

    root151 Posts: 1

    If your "conscience" makes you unable to do your job, you should find yourself a new job. As a pharmacist your job is to dispense drugs that are prescribed by a Dr not to judge the patient.

    I sell computers. If I were Amish and it was against my religion to use a computer I could not keep my job.

    If you're a Scientologist your faith is against psychiatry so you couldn't be a psychiatrist.

    If your faith says you can't give out the drugs that a Dr prescribes then you can't be a pharmacist.

    The most ridiculous part about this is that nobody was asking this pharmacist to give out a med that caused an abortion. It was a drug to stop internal bleeding. This supposedly "pro-life" pharmacist was going to give this woman a death sentence because she didn't approve of how she got her injuries.

    I can't say this enough. If your religion restricts you from doing your job you need a new job or a new religion. Your choice.

  • posted at 1:32 pm on Fri, Jan 14, 2011.


    Since the medication is used to control bleeding, the pharmacist has the right to risk the patient's health? Who made her Judge and Jury? The prescription was legit. The pharmacist also violated patient confidentiality, regardless what it was for, it was not her position to ask. Certainly not her position to assume anything. Just what I want, an assumptive pharmacist.

  • pacundo posted at 4:52 am on Fri, Jan 14, 2011.

    pacundo Posts: 912

    Amazing that a pharmacist decides is not fired for giving a customer doctor prescribed meds because of his stance on abortion. The same pharmacist has no problem giving Oxy, and Hydro to crack heads that are obvioiusly abusing the dope. Unreal! Fire that pharmacist now!

  • yrgoldteeth posted at 8:33 pm on Thu, Jan 13, 2011.

    yrgoldteeth Posts: 1

    While Idaho law does allow a pharmacist to not provide "health care services" that go against their conscience, Idaho law has a specific definition for "health care service."

    It is: "abortion, dispensation of an abortifacient drug, human embryonic stem cell research, treatment regimens utilizing human embryonic stem cells, human embryo cloning or end of life treatment and care." Methergine is not an abortifacient drug, and should not fall under the conscience clause.

  • peace3 posted at 6:09 pm on Thu, Jan 13, 2011.

    peace3 Posts: 2

    I would just like to point out that the doctors that choose to perform abortions choose to do so. No one is forcing that career path upon them. The nurses also choose to work in abortion clinics. A woman chooses to get an abortion. Why should the pharmacist be forced to do something he/she does not believe in? It seems to me that without this law, they would be the only ones without a choice in the matter.

  • Berdawn posted at 12:29 pm on Thu, Jan 13, 2011.

    Berdawn Posts: 1

    Dear Americans,

    If you want to save people’s lives, enter a medical profession.

    If you want to save people’s souls, become a priest.

    Pick ONE.
    thank you!

  • Yippee posted at 11:00 am on Thu, Jan 13, 2011.

    Yippee Posts: 1

    This is excellent. NOw it is only a matter of time a pharmacist can REALLY begin to exercise their judgement.

    Think of all the $$$ the medical profession could save if it denied AIDS patients their medication. I mean - they most likely got it from gay why should they be helped?

    And those people who need STD tretaments....well they were asking for it. Let them suffer for their sin. NO amount of penicillin is to small for them!

    And cancer. We all know it's preventable, right? Smoked for 20 years? NO inhalers for you. LIked to spend time in the sun? NO chemo for you....and this goes for ALL cancers, for they all come about by lifestyle choices.

    I am so proud of Idaho to finally let pill dispensers decide who is morally justified in getting or not getting medicine. They could solve all of America's problems with a simple yes or no.

  • squidman posted at 8:41 pm on Wed, Jan 12, 2011.

    squidman Posts: 11

    I admire ther pharmacist. I wish more business people and professionals had values that guided their efforts. It's not like there aren't dozens of other pharmacists that would gladly fill the prescription. If state law allows such action I don't know why Walgreens would discipline the pharmacist. I use Walgreens but may change if they take any punative action.

  • HoldtheLine posted at 5:45 pm on Wed, Jan 12, 2011.

    HoldtheLine Posts: 1

    So just to be clear you are ashamed of Idaho for judging people. Wow where to start? We judge people for their behavior all the time. Law breakers are judged literally and we often judge members of our community for social unacceptable behavior such as rudeness. In addition you are judging Idaho for its audacity in judging others. This sort of logic is the reason delicate subjects like abortion cant be discussed in a rational manner.

  • Openminded posted at 5:25 pm on Wed, Jan 12, 2011.

    Openminded Posts: 1

    This just disgusts me. It is not the pharmacist's job to be judgmental. If he/she does not want to fill prescriptions, then he/she needs to find another line of work.

    I am ashamed of Idaho for having passes legislation that allows people to discriminate and judge others. Shame on the lawmakers.

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