Rachel Peterson, 35, of Ionia, Mich., became pregnant earlier this year, but an ultrasound at the end of June revealed that the fetus no longer had a heartbeat. She and her husband headed to a family member’s home in northern Michigan, more than three hours away, to decompress.

Her doctor prescribed her misoprostol, a drug that would make the miscarriage process happen faster and could help her avoid an invasive surgical procedure.

“It was conveyed to me by my doctor that if things hadn’t progressed in the next couple of days, that I was instructed to start the medication,” Ms. Peterson said. The days came and went, and still nothing.

On July 1, she and her husband were about to leave to pick up the medication at the Meijer pharmacy in Petoskey, Mich., when she said she received a call from the pharmacist, who “stated that as a good Catholic male he could not in good conscience fill this medication.”


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