A formal complaint was filed with the Idaho Board of Pharmacy in the wake of an incident where a Nampa pharmacist denied filling a prescription for a nurse practitioner with Planned Parenthood.
The incident represents a challenge to Idaho's controversial Freedom of Conscience act, approved in 2010 by the Idaho Legislature. The measure allows pharmacists to refuse dispensation of abortifacients or emergency contraception. While pharmacists are given the option to refuse, they are also instructed to refer the prescription to another pharmacist.
"We have heard of a lot of accounts where individuals across Idaho are being refused," said Kristen Glundberg-Prossor, director of media relations for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest. "But this is the first incident that we know of involving one of our own nurse practitioners."
Prossor said the prescription was for Methergine, a drug used to prevent or control bleeding of the uterus.
"It is neither an abortifacient or contraceptive," said Prossor. "But the pharmacist asked our practitioner, 'Do you need this because of an abortion?' Our practitioner told the pharmacist in keeping with federal law, she couldn't disclose that. And then the pharmacist said she wouldn't fill the prescription. When our practitioner asked to speak to another pharmacist, she was hung up on."
PPGNW lodged a complaint with the Idaho Board of Pharmacy and contacted the corporate offices of Walgreens, the parent company of the pharmacy.
"Walgreens took prompt action," Prossor told Citydesk. "They told us that this will not happen again, and the pharmacist was told specifically that she should have handed this prescription over to another colleague."