NBC Frets Pharmacists Refusing to Fill Abortion, Transgender Prescriptions

July 23rd, 2018 8:58 PM

On Sunday evening, the NBC Nightly News ran a full report hyping a couple of cases in which pharmacists refused to fill a prescription -- one for an abortion and one for transgender hormone treatment.

Host Kate Snow and correspondent Blake McCoy ended up fretting that "social conservatives" had pushed to expand state laws that allow pharmacists to refuse certain sales for reasons of morality.



McCoy began the report by recalling the case of a woman in Arizona who chose to have an abortion after learning that her unborn baby's health had deteriorated. After her request for a prescription was rejected at a Walgreen's branch, instead of simply going to a different pharmacy, she became upset by the rejection.

The NBC correspondent then explained:

It turns out Arizona is one of seven states that expressly allow pharmacists to deny filling a prescription on moral or religious grounds. Another case in Arizona last month made headlines when a CVS pharmacist refused to fill a transgender woman's prescription for hormone therapy.

After recalling the case of a transgender customer who was denied a prescription for hormone therapy at a CVS Pharmacy branch, then came a soundbite of the ACLU's Louise Melling complaining: "I think we have to remember this is health care, right, and we shouldn't be denied health care because of who we are."

After the pre-recorded report concluded, as McCoy appeared in studio with Snow, the NBC host asked: "Are there any limits in those seven states on what pharmacists can say no to?"

McCoy -- who identified no "liberal" groups in the piece -- lamented that "social conservatives" have pushed to protect pharmacists:

It varies state by state. The clauses initially popped up in response to Roe v. Wade and abortion, a religious exemption. But there has recently been a push by social conservatives to add morality exemptions to cover things like gender assignments, even vaccinations.