On Friday, a Jury in central Minnesota came back with a verdict that a pharmacist did not violate a customer’s constitutional rights 3 years ago when he refused to provide her with a morning-after pill. The pharmacist said he refused to grant the request due to his religious beliefs.
The customer in question, Andrea Anderson from McGregor, Minnesota, sued the pharmacist, George Badeux, on the grounds that he breached the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Minnesota state law prohibits gender discrimination in relations to issues such as pregnancy.
The lawsuit also stated that “Badeaux informed her that there would be another pharmacist working the next day, who might be willing to fill the medication but that he could not guarantee that they would help.”
Anderson was seeking emergency contraceptives after a condom broke during sexual intercourse.
The U.S. House recently passed a bill that would guarantee women access to emergency contraceptives. House Democrats have cautioned that the Supreme Court may attempt to limit access to contraceptives after they were able to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Gender Justice, who represented Anderson in this case, has already signaled their intention to appeal the verdict. “The testimony was so clear that she received lesser services than other customers because what she was going there for was emergency contraception. And so we believe that, by law, that’s discrimination in Minnesota,” said Jess Braverman, Gender Justice’s legal director.
Anderson also personally expressed her desire to appeal the verdict and said that not everyone would be in a position to travel out of state to get contraceptives. Anderson said she herself had to make a 100-mile round trip.
“I can’t help but wonder about the other women who may be turned away,” 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 drive hundreds of miles to get a prescription filled.”
Badeux’s lawyer praised the verdict and said that Anderson will not be given any compensation as the refusal to provide her with contraceptives was not based on her gender.
“We are incredibly happy with the jury’s decision,” attorney Charles Shreffler said in a statement. “Medical professionals should be free to practice their professions in line with their beliefs.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: EACHOTHER.ORG.UK
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