More than 70 students, community members, and local politicians held a demonstration outside of Fry’s Food and Drug Store in Tucson, Arizona, yesterday to protest its refusal to fill a rape survivor’s prescription for emergency contraception (EC). The 20-year-old unnamed woman and a friend told the Arizona Daily Star that they tried calling “nearly 50” pharmacies before they found one that stocked EC, but then the Fry’s pharmacist on duty by the time they could get there would not fill the prescription on so-called religious and moral grounds.
“I was so shocked,” the unnamed woman told the Star. “I just did not understand how they could legally refuse to do this…I just don’t think this should be the pharmacist’s decision.” The two women said that the Fry’s manager on duty said he would fill the prescription if they could get there within ten minutes before his shift ended, which was unfeasible, but offered no referral to another pharmacy, as required by Fry’s corporate policy, the Star reports. A Fry’s spokeswoman told the Star that the manager did offer to make a referral.
The protest was led by the Network of Feminist Student Activists, a student group at the University of Arizona affiliated with the Feminist Majority Foundation. The protest was co-sponsored by Students for Choice, University of Arizona’s Women’s Studies Department, Wingspan (Southern Arizona’s LGBT Community Center), Refuse and Resist Tucson, National Lawyers Guild U of A chapter, CODEPINK Tucson, and the Feminist Majority Foundation.