First-of-its-kind decision finds pharmacist discriminated in not filling a valid emergency contraception prescription

In a historic and groundbreaking decision, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that a pharmacist’s refusal to fill a woman’s prescription for emergency contraception based on his personal beliefs constitutes illegal sex discrimination under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. The ruling is the first in the United States to find sex discrimination in the context of a pharmacy’s refusal to fill such a prescription.

Gender Justice and co-counsel Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP filed the lawsuit, known as Anderson v. Thrifty White, in 2019 on behalf of Andrea Anderson, a mother and foster parent. Despite a valid prescription from Ms. Anderson’s doctor for the emergency contraceptive Ella, the lead pharmacist at McGregor Pharmacy (formerly Thrifty White), told Ms. Anderson that his beliefs precluded him from giving her the medication, and refused to serve her.

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