The pharmacist accused of denying a woman medication that would help her recover from a miscarriage is no longer employed at Meijer. She's working with the American Civil Liberties Union to change Meijer's policy and is willing to go to court if need be to keep what happened to her from happening to another woman.
When she was unable to fill her prescription in Petoskey - where she and her husband were vacationing - Peterson said she had to drive more than three hours south to her home in Ionia. She was initially told that the prescription her doctor had called in would be filled. "Had a man shown up with the same prescription for misoprostol to treat his stomach ulcer ... there is no doubt that [the pharmacist] would have filled his prescription right away".
Peterson explained that her doctor had said her fetus was not viable and she was not using the medication because she wanted an abortion.
Kovach said it's hard to pinpoint precisely how pervasive an issue like Peterson's is in MI. She did not specify whether the pharmacist was sacked or resigned.
Peterson also claims Kalkman refused to pass her onto another member of staff or allow her to speak to his supervisor.
Still mourning the loss of a twin she had been carrying, Rachel Peterson was devastated when she began to lose the other baby weeks later.
She was able to have the prescription filled later at her regular pharmacy in Ionia.
Peterson told the Detroit Free Press she chose to go public with her story to help prevent it from happening to other women in the future.
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Peterson later talked to a regional manager at Meijer about it and was told the pharmacist was on personal leave and an investigation had been started.
In a statement to News 10, the company says the pharmacist "has not been employed by Meijer" since July.
"The ACLU of MI is demanding Meijer implement a policy that ensures all pharmacy customers receive their medication without undue delay regardless of the personal beliefs of its pharmacists", the complaint says. Meijer says they have "thoroughly investigated these allegations" but would not comment on their findings. It also reiterated its policies.
They said the store recognizes "the right of a pharmacist to abstain from filling a prescription based on his or her religious beliefs, but the pharmacist is required to have another Meijer pharmacist fill the prescription or, if no other pharmacist is available at that time, to transfer the script to another pharmacy convenient to the customer".
These guidelines are not found in Meijer's Pharmacy Non-Discrimination Notice.
"A pharmacist who fails to follow this procedure is in violation of our process", Fecher confirmed to Fox News. In a letter of complaint, the ACLU identified the pharmacist as Richard Kalkman.
It also offered an apology.
A Meijer spokesperson told the Detroit Free Press that "while we can not comment on any specific customer matter, we apologize for any customer experience that does not align with our core values".
The ACLU says the pharmacist broke the state's public accommodations laws.
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