Massachusetts Wal-Marts Must Stock Emergency Contraception

Tuesday, the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy unanimously decided to require Wal-Marts in the state to stock emergency contraception (EC), making it the second state where women can fill EC prescriptions at the retail giant. Illinois already had a state law requiring pharmacies that stock any form of contraception to also stock EC. Wal-Mart spokesperson Dan Fogelman said that the retailer would review its stance on EC on a national basis as well, telling the Boston Globe that “We are actively thinking through this issue.”

The decision came mere weeks after three women sued Wal-Mart for violating state policies that pharmacies stock all “commonly prescribed medications.” Plaintiff Dr. Rebekah Gee told the Associated Press “I’m proud to be able to tell my patients that they now can go anywhere for their prescriptions.” Furthermore, one of the women’s lawyers, Sam Perkins, announced his willingness to file similar suits in other states and push Wal-Mart to stock EC around the country. Planned Parenthood interim president Karen Pearl praised the decision in a statement, saying “No woman should be put at risk for unintended pregnancy. We urge Wal-Mart to reverse its longstanding policy and make EC available in all stores nationwide.”

LEARN MORE about Wal-Mart and the class action gender discrimination case it currently faces.


Associated Press 2/14/06; Boston Globe 2/15/06; Planned Parenthood 2/14/06 Reuters 2/14/06

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