By Rebekah Riess and Kelly Murray, CNN
A jury in Atkins County, Minnesota, found on Friday that a pharmacy did not discriminate against a woman by refusing to fill her prescription for emergency contraception, court records show. .
However, the jury found that the pharmacist caused the woman emotional harm in the amount of $25,000.
According to the original complaint, Andrea Anderson, a mother and approved adoptive parent, obtained a prescription in January 2019 for Ella – otherwise known as the “morning after pill” or emergency contraception – after her birth control failed. regular.
His doctor sent the prescription to McGregor Thrifty White Pharmacy, but duty pharmacist George Badeaux told Anderson he couldn’t fill his prescription because of his “beliefs.”
Badeaux “did not specify what his beliefs were or why they interfered with his ability to perform his job as a medical professional,” according to the complaint.
Anderson finally found a pharmacy that was ready to fill her prescription — after driving more than 100 miles round trip in a snowstorm, the complaint said.
Badeaux’s attorney, Charles Shreffler, said in a statement that he and his client were “incredibly pleased with the jury’s decision.”
“Health professionals should be free to practice their profession in accordance with their beliefs,” the statement said. “Mr. Badeaux is unable to participate in a proceeding that requires him to dispense drugs that could end innocent human life in the womb. Every American should have the freedom to operate according to their ethical and religious beliefs. doctors, pharmacists and other medical care providers are no different.”
CNN has contacted attorneys for Thrifty White Pharmacy for comment.
Gender Justice, the advocacy group representing Anderson, had argued that denying Anderson service because of her reproductive health care needs was unlawful gender discrimination and violated Minnesota human rights law. .
The group said it would appeal the jury’s decision to the state Court of Appeals.
“To be clear, Minnesota law prohibits sex discrimination and that includes refusing to fill emergency contraception prescriptions,” said Jess Braverman, legal director of Gender Justice. “The jury was not deciding the law, it was deciding the facts of what happened here in this particular case. We will appeal this decision and will not stop fighting until the people of Minnesota can get the health care they need without interference from providers who put their own personal beliefs ahead of their legal obligations and ethics towards their patients.
Since a major pharmaceutical trade deal in 2017, the so-called morning-after pill has become the most widely used over-the-counter emergency contraception in the United States.
Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, there are concerns that some types of contraception may not be available, and demand for emergency contraception and longer-acting contraception, including the morning after pill, has increased.
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CNN’s Kieth Allen also contributed to this story.