A pro life Walgreens pharmacist in Peoria, Arizona has recently come under an extraordinary amount of vitriol online because he opted out of filling a woman’s abortion prescription. The woman whose abortion prescription he declined to fill shared the pharmacist, Brian Hreniuc’s contact information prominently in an online Facebook “complaint.” The Facebook post went viral. In it, the woman, Nicole Arteaga described that she was two months pregnant with a baby that she and her husband were eagerly anticipating. However, when Nicole went in for a doctor visit, she was faced with some bad news. Doctors told her the baby’s development had stopped and that the end result would be an eventual miscarriage. The doctor said she had two options; have an abortion, or use abortion-inducing medication. Nicole opted for the latter.
According to Nicole, the doctor wrote her a prescription for the abortion drugs and sent it to Walgreens. But allegedly, the pharmacist there refused to fill the prescription. Hreniuc explained to Nicole that he had moral and ethical reasons behind his refusal, and he did send her prescription to another Walgreens that filled it for her.
A Walgreens spokesperson gave KVOA News the following statement:
“After learning what happened, we reached out to the patient and apologized for how the situation was handled. To respect the sincerely held beliefs of our pharmacists while at the same time meeting the needs of our patients, our policy allows pharmacists to step away from filling a prescription for which they have a moral objection. At the same time, they are also required to refer the prescription to another pharmacist or manager on duty to meet the patient’s needs in a timely manner. We are looking into the matter to ensure that our patients’ needs are handled properly.”
The pharmacist did not violate any laws, and his actions are protected by Arizona law, which states that, “A pharmacy, hospital or health professional, or any employee of a pharmacy, hospital or health professional, who states in writing an objection to abortion, abortion medication, emergency contraception or any medication or device intended to inhibit or prevent implantation of a fertilized ovum on moral or religious grounds is not required to facilitate or participate in the provision of an abortion, abortion medication, emergency contraception or any medication or device intended to inhibit or prevent implantation of a fertilized ovum…”
Arteaga still revealed that she filed a complaint with the Arizona Board of Pharmacy, according to Lifenews. However, the situation has left Hreniuc with a target on his back. The New York Times, the BBC, Teen Vogue, BuzzFeed and other news outlets are trying to destroy him and his career because he followed his conscience.