Pharmacist didn’t fill morning-after pill prescription because it violated his beliefs, lawsuit says

By Michelle Watson, CNN

A pharmacist in McGregor, Minnesota, refused to fill out the morning after pill statute of limitations because she violated her “beliefs,” a lawsuit alleges.

When Andrea Anderson’s first method of birth control failed in January 2019, she turned to ella, otherwise known as the “morning after pill” or emergency contraception, to prevent possible pregnancy, said the complaint filed in Atkin County, Minnesota. McGregor, Minnesota is about 122 miles north of Minneapolis.

Anderson got a prescription and asked his doctor to send it to the only pharmacy in the area at the time, McGregor Thrifty White Pharmacy, according to the court document.

But when she arrived at the pharmacy, according to the lawsuit, “the pharmacist on duty told her that he would not be able to fill her prescription because of her ‘beliefs’.”

George Badeaux, the pharmacist, told Anderson that for “personal reasons” he would not fill his prescription, the lawsuit said.

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.

The pharmacy owner would later tell Anderson that he didn’t “agree” with Badeaux’s refusal to fill the prescription, but that Badeaux was a local pastor, according to the suit.

Lawyers for Badeaux and the pharmacy did not return CNN’s requests for comment this week.

After trying several pharmacies, Anderson finally found one that would fill her prescription more than 50 miles from her home as a snowstorm headed toward central Minnesota, according to the lawsuit.

She “did more than 100 miles round trip in the blizzard in order to fill her prescription. While the trip normally takes more than two hours round trip, that day it took more than three hours in the light of the storm,” the complaint states.

The complaint argues that Badeaux, along with Thrifty White, violated Minnesota human rights law. Anderson is asking for punitive and pecuniary damages to be determined by a jury.

Jury selection began Aug. 1, according to a court record.

After the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, reproductive rights activists across the country wondered if birth control measures could be under threat, especially after Judge Clarence Thomas wrote that a ruling on that right – among other things – should be reviewed.

The House voted 228-195 on July 21 to pass a bill that would guarantee access to contraception by protecting the right to purchase and use contraceptives without government restriction. It’s unclear whether the bill can pass the Senate where at least 10 Republicans are needed to side with Democrats to overcome the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold.

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