A protester holds a sign reading "STOP THE BANS"

14-Year-Old Denied Necessary Medication Thanks To Arizona’s Civil War-era Abortion Law

A 14-year-old in Arizona was reportedly denied a refill of a necessary, potentially lifesaving prescription by her pharmacist, thanks to the state’s newly resurrected Civil War-era abortion ban.

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The girl’s doctor, Deborah Jane Power, posted a “livid” message to Twitter about the experience. She explained that her patient is taking MTX, or methotrexate, which is used to treat certain types of cancer as well as rheumatoid arthritis. The pharmacist denied the refill because it can also be used as an abortifacient. (It’s commonly used for ectopic pregnancies.) Power says the pharmacist didn’t even ask the patient any questions about her need for the drug—”No discussion, just a denial,” she wrote.

The Arizona outlet KOLD News provided even more details, writing, “14 year old Emma Thompson has debilitating rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis which has kept her in and out of the hospital for most of her life. She relies on methotrexate to help tame the effects of the disease.”

According to Power and Thomspon’s mother, Kaitlin Preble, it’s been hard work to get Emma to the point where her pain is manageable, where she can attend school in person and not use a wheelchair. Her prescription was reportedly finally filled 24 hours after the initial refusal but both Preble and Power describe being filled with fear and anxiety during the delay.

“I was scared, I was really scared,” Preble told KOLD. “I’m like if they deny this then we’ll have to find a different medication and we don’t know if it’s going to work.”

Thompson was denied her prescription just two days after an Arizona judge allowed the antiquated ban to take effect. That law was written in 1864—before Arizona was even a state—and mandates prison sentences for abortion providers.

It also, by the way, is part of a larger code of laws that also said no Black, Asian, or Indigenous person could testify against a white person, banned interracial marriage, and also established the age of consent as just 10 years old. Just so we all know exactly what we’re dealing with here, these are the sorts of laws being implemented and the kinds of things at stake in the war on bodily autonomy.

(via The Independent, image: Megan Varner/Getty Images)


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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.