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Minnesota appeals court sides with woman seeking emergency contraceptive

A pharmacist fills a prescription. The Associated Press/Photo by Chris Carlson, File

Minnesota appeals court sides with woman seeking emergency contraceptive

The court ruled on Monday that pharmacist George Badeaux discriminated against plaintiff Andrea Anderson in 2019 when he refused to fill her prescription. Anderson sued Badeaux after he refused to provide her with the drug ella, an emergency contraceptive similar to the Plan B pill, according to the original complaint.

Alliance Defending Freedom, the pro-life nonprofit legal organization that represents the pharmacist, said Badeaux is a Christian and chooses not to dispense such medicines because they could prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

What does the law say about Badeaux’s objections? According to the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy instituted a policy that allowed pharmacists to object to personally dispensing emergency contraceptives as long as they provide women with alternatives to receive their prescription. When he received Anderson’s prescription for ella, Badeaux informed her that another pharmacist at the facility would be willing to give her the drug the following day, but he may not make it to work because of an oncoming snowstorm. Badeaux offered to transfer her prescription to another pharmacy, according to ADF, and she eventually drove to a Walgreens more than 50 miles away to get the drug.

What has happened so far in the case? Gender Justice, a nonprofit legal organization, filed the lawsuit on Anderson’s behalf in 2019 alleging that Badeaux violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act. A jury in 2022 found that Badeaux and the pharmacy did not discriminate against Anderson. The jury did find that the ordeal caused her emotional harm and awarded her $25,000 in damages. Anderson appealed the decision and the appeals court on Monday ruled that she should have a new trial.

Dig deeper: Read Steve West’s report in WORLD Magazine about a former CVS nurse’s legal fight to get her job back.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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