Aug 5, 2022 - Health

Jury rules pharmacist who denied patient morning after pill did not discriminate

Plan-B, emergency contraceptive, and Take Action, another version of the contraceptive.
Plan-B, emergency contraceptive, and Take Action, another form of contraceptive. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

A jury ruled that a pharmacist who refused to fill her prescription for a morning-after pill based on his "beliefs" did not discriminate, but did award her $25,000 for the emotional harm caused, NBC News reports.

The big picture: The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade earlier this summer has reignited debates over contraception and birth control.

Details: Andrea Anderson filed a lawsuit against a pharmacist, George Badeaux, claiming he violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act when he would not fill her prescription for birth control in 2019.

  • Badeaux, who is also a pastor, allegedly told Anderson that filling the prescription would go against his "beliefs," according to the lawsuit.
  • She later found a pharmacy 50 miles from her home that was willing to fill the prescription, the Washington Post reports.
  • Badeaux said during the trial he "wasn't seeking to interfere with what she wanted to do," but "was asking to be excused," per the Star Tribune.

What's next: Anderson, who is represented by lawyers from Gender Justice, plans to appeal the jury's verdict with the Minnesota Court of Appeal, NBC News reports.

  • “The jury was not deciding what the law is, they were deciding the facts of what happened here in this particular case," Gender Justice legal director Jess Braverman said in a statement.
  • "We will appeal this decision and won’t stop fighting until Minnesotans can get the health care they need without the interference of providers putting their own personal beliefs ahead of their legal and ethical obligations to their patients.”
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