A Georgia woman named Brittany Cartrett was about five weeks into her pregnancy when she suffered a miscarriage recently. In order to avoid health problems that could be caused by her miscarriage, Cartrett’s doctor gave her two options: “an invasive ‘dilation and curettage’ procedure which would surgically remove the contents of the uterus, or a pill that would have the same effect but would be less invasive. She opted for the second option.”
The doctor told Cartrett that she should take the medicine that he prescribed for her because it would help her “to pass naturally” so that she wouldn’t “have to go the more invasive route.”
Dilation and curettage (also called D&C) is when a doctor removes tissue from the lining of a woman’s uterus. Dilation (“D”) is a widening of the cervix to allow medical instruments into the uterus. Curettage (“C”) is the scraping of the walls of the uterus.
The drug that Cartrett’s doctor prescribed for her is called misoprostol, which expels the contents of a uterus. It is used to treat abortions as well as incomplete miscarriages.
Unfortunately, Cartrett was not able to get the drug her doctor had prescribed for her from her local pharmacy because the pharmacist at the Milledgeville Walmart refused to fill it.
The doctor’s office called the Milledgeville Walmart to fill the prescription but they were told no and they were not given a reason.
Even though Cartrett was able to get her prescription filled at another pharmacy, she brought up the issue when she went to Walmart to fill out another prescription.
When she asked the pharmacist why she wouldn’t fill her prescription, Cartrett claims, “She looks at me over her nose and says, ‘Because I couldn’t think of a reason why you would need that prescription.'” Cartrett says she then explained that she’d had a miscarriage, and the pharmacist replied, “I don’t feel like there is a reason why you would need it, so we refused to fill it.”
A pharmacist for the store, Sandip Patel, told WGXA that under state law, pharmacists are able to turn down prescriptions. A Walmart spokesperson said the company encourages its pharmacists to “use their professional judgement” on a case-by-case basis.
Arturo Garcia of Raw Story said that the Georgia law, “which states that pharmacists ‘shall not be required to fill a prescription for an emergency contraceptive drug,’ is part of some states’ response to the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade verdict legalizing abortions.”
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCLS) has stated that the “issue is expanding as pharmacists are refusing to fill emergency contraception and contraception prescriptions. This movement resulted in the term ‘conscience clause,’ which gives pharmacists the right to refuse to perform certain services based on a violation of personal beliefs or values. Most of the debate revolves around a pharmacist dispensing emergency contraception.”
Treatment of a miscarriage, once it has begun, depends on your symptoms. The primary goal of treatment during and after a miscarriage is to prevent hemorrhaging and infection…
If all pregnancy-related tissue wasn’t expelled, a condition known as an incomplete miscarriage, you may need treatment to stop the bleeding and prevent infection. The most common procedure is a dilation and curettage (D&C), which involves the widening of the cervix and scraping of the uterine lining, called the endometrium. Sometimes suction is used along with scraping. This procedure can be uncomfortable, so it is most often done under general anesthesia. Another option is to take medication (misoprostol), which will help your body expel the tissue…
Cartrett slammed the Walmart pharmacy in a Facebook post. She said “she felt like the pharmacist was judging her — and thus, refusing to help her — because of a negative view of abortions. She also told WGXA that she has been contacted by women in similar circumstances who have also been turned away.”
Cartrett said, “I’m not going to see that pharmacist, I’m going to see a doctor. If it’s because of that due to the conscience clause, I think it’s called, then what other decisions are they making based on our health and our needs by not giving a prescription to someone who may or may not need it?”
Do you think pharmacists should have the right to refuse to fill a prescription that your doctor has ordered for you?