Minnesota jury rules pharmacist who denied woman morning-after pill did not violate her rights

(The Hill) – A Minnesota jury ruled Friday that a pharmacist did not discriminate when he failed to fill a prescription for emergency contraception for a woman after her previous contraceptive method failed, according to women’s rights group Gender Justice.

An Aitkin County jury found that a pharmacist’s decision not to provide a prescription for emergency contraception to Andrea Anderson, the plaintiff in the case, after citing her ‘beliefs’ did not constitute discrimination .

According to court documents, Anderson went to the only pharmacy in her town to pick up a prescription for emergency contraception after another method failed, but the pharmacist denied her request.

The filing further claims that she would later have to travel more than 100 miles in total in order to get her morning after pill after having several pharmacies reject her request.

Anderson was awarded $25,000 for emotional damage caused by the first pharmacist who refused to fill the prescription.

“I can’t help but wonder about other women who might be turned down,” 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 choice? Not everyone has the means or ability to travel hundreds of miles to get a prescription filled.

The legal director of Gender Justice, who represents Anderson, said he plans to appeal the decision.

“To be clear, Minnesota law prohibits gender discrimination and that includes refusing to fill emergency contraception prescriptions,” Jess Braverman, legal director of Gender Justice, said in a statement. “The jury wasn’t deciding the law, they were deciding the facts of what happened here in this particular case.”

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