"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

March 31, 2005

A Conversation with Wal-Mart

I sent this message to Wal-Mart today:

Wal-Mart Pharmacies

Dear Wal-Mart Pharmacies,

All over the country I have noticed a disturbing trend of pharmacies refusing to fill women’s prescriptions for birth control. When a woman and her doctor decide that a prescription for contraception is in the woman’s best interest, a third party has no right to override that decision. Pharmacies must ensure that patients get their doctor-prescribed medication without delay or inconvenience. I ask that your company assure me and your other customers that no woman seeking prescription contraception will be turned away by your company’s pharmacies.

No doubt a majority of your customers take for granted that women should be able to receive their birth control despite the personal beliefs of the individual pharmacist. Timely access to contraception is central to women’s health, autonomy, and equality. We must trust women and their doctors to make their own reproductive health decisions.

I thank you, in advance, for protecting your customer’s health by ensuring your pharmacy will guarantee women have unhindered access to their prescribed medications.

Thank you for your attention and support.



I received the following reply (emphasis added):

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for contacting us at Walmart.com regarding women?s prescriptions for birth control. Your comments and concerns are very important to us as we strive to meet your needs.

Wal-Mart does not carry emergency contraceptives. Our pharmacists may decline to fill a prescription based on personal convictions. However, they must find another pharmacist, either at Wal-Mart or another pharmacy, who can assist you by filling your prescription.

Again, we thank you for your comments regarding this issue.

Customer Service at Walmart.com

Interesting how I am a valued customer, since I haven't bought a single item from the store chain in at least 15 years.

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