Let's see, where was I when I left you? Oh, yeah: Wal-Mart caters to the most intolerant elements of the Conservative right
. Really, this one
is so blatant it even surprises me:
Protestors from various women's groups stood in the mud beside Route 9 outside Wal-Mart Thursday to protest the retailer's refusal to carry emergency contraception.
Emergency contraception, this story from the U-Mass Amherst school paper explains, is not RU-486, the so-called "abortion pill." It's Preven, a drug to prevent conception from happening. And, after snooping around a bit, I discovered that Wal-Mart has refused to sell it since it came on the market in 1999.
The fact that it has to be taken within 72 hours after intercourse in order to be effective leaves some women at a severe disadvantage:
The protestors, including Linda Forman, President of UMass Vox, believe it's important for Wal-Mart to carry emergency contraception for women who have limited access to other pharmacies, such as those who live in rural areas.
"Wal-Mart is one of the biggest chains there is," Forman said. "We have access to CVS and Target, but some women don't. There only is a Wal-Mart in their neighborhood."
Does Wal-Mart care? What do you think? Wal-Mart's statement on this subject reads in part:
"Wal-Mart does not carry emergency contraceptives. Since Wal-Mart pharmacists cannot fill these prescriptions, they refer customers to another pharmacy in the community that can meet the customer's needs in a timely manner -- just as is done for any other medication that Wal-Mart does not stock," read the statement.
Do their stockholders know that the company is passing up this opportunity to make money? On the other hand, back in 1999 when the drug came out, the Nation reported:
Unlike its conservative cousin [Wal-Mart], K-Mart has said it will fire any pharmacist who refuses to dispense any FDA-approved medication.
If you believe in a woman's right to control her own body, where do you want to shop?