The Kroger grocery chain has pledged to carry emergency contraception (EC) in all its stores and dispense the medication upon request, regardless of objections by individual pharmacists. The statement was issued after a pharmacist in a Georgia store refused to supply Carrie Baker, 42, with emergency contraception, also known as Plan B, which can prevent pregnancy when taken with 120 hours of unprotected sex.
After reproductive rights advocates joined Baker in launching a statewide campaign to raise awareness about access to EC, Kroger clarified its policy, announcing that “medications are a private patient matter. Our role as a retail pharmacy operator is to furnish medication using applicable professional standards in accordance with a doctor’s prescription or as requested by a customer.” The company also pledged to “find a way to accommodate the customer” if an individual pharmacist did object to providing the drug.
In August 2006, the Food and Drug Administration approved EC to be sold on a non-prescription basis to people ages 18 and older. Several other national pharmacy chains, including CVS, Rite-Aid, and Walgreens, have policies to carry EC in all their stores and to ensure that all eligible customers can purchase it.