For Immediate Release: June 7, 2017
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
firstname.lastname@example.org - (207) 358-9785
An Albuquerque Walgreens pharmacist abdicated his responsibility as someone entrusted with scientific authority when he refused to fill a legal prescription because of his religious beliefs, said the Center for Inquiry. The discrimination suffered by this mother and young daughter with a valid prescription was worsened when Walgreens supplied no other employee to provide them with service, sending them instead to another store, the organization said.
“A pharmacist’s job is to protect a patient’s health, not to concern themselves with a patient’s soul,” said Nicholas Little, Legal Director for the Center for Inquiry (CFI). “A community places its trust in the scientific integrity of a pharmacist’s counsel, but this pharmacist chose to reject their vital medical role and arrogantly assume the authority of clergy.”
Unlike some other states, New Mexico does not have legislation excusing pharmacists from filling valid prescriptions based on their personal religious preferences.
“We should reject the pernicious idea that one person’s religion gives them the authority to violate anyone else’s rights,” said Little. “Religiously motivated discrimination is especially dangerous when practiced by those who should be protecting our health.”
“We urge Walgreens and all other pharmacies to take all necessary steps to ensure that no one is discriminated against in this manner again,” he said.