Woman Turned Away From Blood Center Because She Won’t Remove Hijab

(Memphis) Memphis mother Keajuana Allen said she gives blood regularly at Tennessee Blood Services at 807 Poplar, but she was turned away Wednesday.

“She told me I had to remove my scarf and I told her, ‘Well you know I can’t.’ I said, ‘Why today, do I have to remove my scarf?’ I said, ‘Due to religious purposes, I am not to be uncovered,’” said Allen after she was asked to remove her hijab before giving blood Wednesday.

“Due to my religion being a Muslim woman, I am not to uncover in front of especially a man, only if it’s my husband. She told me that I needed to find another donor center to go to.”

Tennessee Blood Services medical director Edward Scott said they require everyone who gives blood to uncover their head or take off a hat.

“To evaluate the scalp we need individuals to take off the hat or take off head coverings,” said Scott.

“It’s to make sure the collection is safe for the donor but also that the product is going to be usable,” added Scott.

Scott said Allen was turned away because of her low hemoglobin or iron.

Allen said no blood sample was taken Wednesday to know that.

WREG called other blood donation centers and none of them require you to uncover your head before giving blood.

Tennessee Blood Services, which pays blood donors, said it’s always been a requirement in order to check for scars or stitches.

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