Gender Justice is appealing a jury verdict that found that a Minnesota pharmacist did not discriminate against a woman when he refused to fill an emergency contraceptive prescription.
The plaintiff, Andrea Anderson, tried to fill an emergency contraception prescription in 2019 after her first method failed, according to a civil complaint filed in Aitkin County. Her doctor sent the prescription to the Thrifty White pharmacy in McGregor. She was then informed by the pharmacist on duty, George Badeaux, that he would not be able to fill the prescription due to “personal reasons” and “beliefs”.
Anderson said this statement confused her and Badeaux Anderson gave no information about where or how to get her prescription filled. When she urged him to help her find an alternative, Badeaux said the pharmacist at work the next day might be willing to fill the prescription, but the impending snow storm would keep them from going to work. to go.
Anderson felt the urgency to get the prescription quickly to reduce the chances of pregnancy.
Anderson also called Thrifty White’s company number and the person on the line told her that the McGregor location was independently owned and operated. She then spoke to the pharmacy manager, Matt Hutera.
The complaint alleges that Anderson told Hutera that Badeaux refused to fill her prescription based on personal beliefs. Hutera said he was aware of the situation and that it was not the first time Badeaux refused to fill a prescription, and that he was a pastor at a local church.
When he pressed the store policy, Hutera said the correct procedure was to make sure the regulations were filled. Hutera also said he “didn’t agree with Badeaux, but he’s a pastor.” Hutera then told Anderson that Badeaux could be disciplined for not making sure a prescription was filled “if it happened again”.
Anderson then drove to a Walgreens in Brainerd that agreed to fulfill her prescription. This happened during a blizzard which made the trip considerably longer as her 2-year-old child accompanied her.
Anderson didn’t get pregnant.
The plaintiff alleges in the lawsuit that Badeaux and Thrifty White discriminated against her because of her gender, as “emergency contraceptives are only used by people of childbearing potential to prevent pregnancy.”
Although the jury ruled Friday that the defendants were not guilty of discrimination, the panel still determined that Badeux had caused Anderson emotional damage and ordered him to pay $25,000.
While pharmacists and pharmacy owners are generally required to ensure that all prescription medications are dispensed, the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy made an exception in 1999. to fill a prescription so that they are “made immediately available” to the patient.
A Gender Justice press release states that the organization is appealing the jury’s verdict that the pharmacy did not discriminate against Anderson.