ACLU files a complaint with Meijer Pharmacy for denying a woman her prescription

Oct 19, 2018

Rachel Peterson with husband, Robby Peterson.

Rachel Peterson, a resident of Ionia, Michigan says in July, Meijer Pharmacist, Richard Kalkman, denied a medically necessary prescription to treat her miscarriage. Merissa Kovach, policy strategist for the ACLU of Michigan filed a letter of complaint with Meijer on behalf of Peterson. 

“The pharmacist told her that he would not fill her prescription in account of being a good Catholic male, and then when she asked to talk to another pharmacist  he said there wasn’t one on staff, and then he refused to transfer her prescription.”  

The medicine Peterson needed is called Misoprostol, an alternative to a surgical abortion as the drugs induce a miscarriage. 

“When she told him that she had already miscarried, he told her that that was just her word. So he accused her of lying and ultimately she had to drive to the Meijer Pharmacy close to her home in Ionia to get her prescription filled but that was a three hour drive.” 

Kovach says the ACLU filed a complaint with Meijer Pharmacy’s Civil Rights Coordinator. 

“On account that Rachel was discriminated against because she was a woman which is a violation of Michigan Public Accommodation Law. That they ensure that all customers moving forward receive their medication without undue delay regardless of the personal beliefs of their pharmacist.”  

Kalkman is no long employed at Meijer according to a statement by Meijer. 

Michigan is one of twenty six states that prohibits abortion coverage with only life endangerment exception. 

Michelle Jokisch Polo, for WGVU News.