Perhaps you remember this story when it was widely reported in January. As the Columbus Dispatch covered it then:
Plan B is two hormone pills (essentially high-test birth-control pills) that prevent pregnancy and are considered most effective when taken soon after unprotected sex Ã¢â‚¬â€ ideally, within 72 hours. Plan B is not the abortion pill, RU-486.
Tashina Byrd, her boyfriend and her 4-year-old son headed to a Springfield Wal-Mart to pick up some things, including Plan B. Byrd, 23, of Springfield, and her boyfriend, Brian OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Neill, 37, of Columbus, said a condom broke.
When the pharmacy attendant asked pharmacist Brent Beams about it, “He shook his head and laughed,” Byrd said. The attendant told them the store had Plan B but that nobody would give it to them, the couple said.
They asked for a store manager, who “came over and said, Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe pharmacist has the law on his side,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ ” OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Neill said.
According to The Writing on the Wall Blog:
Byrd is now a rallying point for the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League and the focus of a letter writing campaign targeted at Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott. In an email solicitation Byrd writes:
You wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe what happened to me when I went with my boyfriend to Wal-Mart to buy Plan B Ã¢â‚¬â€ the Ã¢â‚¬Å“morning-afterÃ¢â‚¬Â pill Ã¢â‚¬â€ after our condom broke.
The pharmacist laughed in our faces and told us, Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have it on hand, but thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no one here who can dispense it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
My name is Tashina Byrd, and this happened to me at my local Wal-Mart in Springfield, Ohio.
It can be embarrassing to share a private, personal experience like this, but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want other women to be subjected to the humiliation and anger I felt when the pharmacist laughed at me.
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m asking for your help today. I recently sent a letter to Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott, Jr., urging him to change company policy to guarantee that pharmacies fill requests for Plan B without delay, just like they do for any other over-the-counter medicine. Click here to send your letter to Wal-Mart today.
YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve already proven that together we can make Wal-Mart do whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s right for women. Last year, because of pressure from pro-choice activists like you, Wal-Mart reversed its discriminatory policy against stocking Plan B. Now, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time to ensure that they not only stock it but also sell it without delay or inconvenience.
In the end, I was lucky. I found another pharmacy that stocked Plan B and was willing to sell it to me. But what would happen to a woman who lives in a rural area Ã¢â‚¬â€ where Wal-Mart is often the only pharmacy Ã¢â‚¬â€ where the nearest drugstore could be 60 miles away or more? What if the second pharmacy refused, too?
Tashina’s experience points to one of the key reasons — besides lower costs — that more Americans are choosing to purchase prescription drugs online. Ordering medications over the Web is private and free from the unprofessional behavior of pharmacists like the one Tashina encountered.
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