Dear CVS: A Real ‘Health-Care Company’ Guarantees In-Store Access to Birth Control


Update, February 27, 5:15 p.m.: CVS spokesperson Michael DeAngelis responded to this article, noting in an email that “the reason we require employees to inform us in advance if they have a deeply-held religious conviction against selling emergency contraception is so we can ensure that a store is staffed appropriately to provide this product to the customer promptly.”

DeAngelis also said that sending a customer to another pharmacy for emergency contraception “would not be what we consider satisfying a customer promptly.” He added that “serving the customer is our overriding priority and as such would require the sale of the item.”

In previous emails with DeAngelis about CVS policy, he responded affirmatively to the questions “Does CVS still … [r]equire a partner pharmacist to fill a prescription if a pharmacist objects? And if another pharmacist is not on duty, require the pharmacist to contact a nearby pharmacy (CVS or no) to refer the filling of the prescription?” and “…is there [a] policy that [sales associates] don’t have to sell a drug they object to, while being required to refer that sale to another associate or, if necessary, store?”

At least two CVS stores have not followed this policy in the past.

Imagine this: You had sex and the condom broke. You definitely don’t want to get pregnant. You cannot afford to have a baby. The next morning you walk into your neighborhood pharmacy to get emergency contraception. The pharmacist looks at you and says no, he won’t give it to you, that’s not something he believes in, his buddy here behind the counter doesn’t either, and you’d better go somewhere else.

Astonishingly, this scenario does not violate a corporate-level policy governing more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores in the United States. Despite recent changes from the Food and Drug Administration, certain types of emergency contraception, including but not limited to brands sold as ella and Next Choice, still require a prescription or are behind the pharmacy counter and require proof of age. When the personal beliefs of all available pharmacists on duty conflict with someone’s need for emergency contraception, CVS specifies that the person seeking emergency contraception should go to another store.

Another type of emergency contraception, Plan B One-Step, is supposed to be sold on the shelf for anyone to pick up and bring to the cash register, but the refusal policy at CVS also extends to sales associates who may refuse to sell emergency contraception that would otherwise be available without a prescription, or who may not be effectively trained to know that it can be purchased by young teens. Mike DeAngelis, a CVS spokesperson, told RH Reality Check in an email that the vast majority of its emergency contraception sales are non-prescription and do not require a pharmacist.

This matters. CVS is an influential player in the industry, and arguably the largest: It receives the most prescription revenue of any pharmacy in the United States. That there is no guarantee of in-store access to contraception is an especially curious thing to consider when the chain is making headlines for its plan to stop selling tobacco products in order to hone a focus on providing for health-care needs. But whose health-care needs?

Emergency Contraception and Its Intended Availability: A Primer

Emergency contraceptive pills prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure, and are most effective when taken as immediately as possible. There are different rules about how emergency contraception should be dispensed, depending on its variety:

  • Plan B One-Step (progestin-only) is supposed to be available on an open shelf for purchase by people of all ages, no identification required.
  • My Way, Next Choice One Dose, and Levonorgestrel (progestin-only) are supposed to be available according to age:
    • by prescription only for those 16 and younger, and
    • behind the pharmacy counter without a prescription (or on request) for those 17 and up.
  • Ella (ulipristal acetate) is supposed to be available by prescription only, regardless of age.

In this climate, misinformation about the availability of emergency contraception reigns, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Researchers representing themselves as women 17 years of age called 940 pharmacies in five major cities and were told 20 percent of the time that they could not get emergency contraception at all. This wasn’t the only completely false information they found: It wasn’t uncommon to hear that a parent or legal guardian must come along, or that a partner or other person couldn’t buy a prescription for them.

Another thing the callers heard? Pharmacy staff sometimes shared personal reasons for refusing to dispense or stock emergency contraception. Which brings us back to the refusal policy held by CVS, a behemoth that empowers its employees to say no and ultimately puts the burden on accessing emergency contraception back to the customer.

A Corporate Policy Allowing Refusals at CVS

CVS has a longstanding policy that pharmacists and sales associates with personal objections to emergency contraceptives or other drugs are not required to dispense or sell them. The policy also offers ostensible protections to customers and patients that go almost but not quite far enough—a difference made critical by the time-sensitive nature of the need for emergency contraception.

Ten years ago, the Minnesota chapter of the National Organization for Women began to picket CVS stores in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area because CVS would not guarantee in-store access to contraceptives, including emergency contraceptives. (Disclosure: I was president of the group at that time.) What caught our attention then was a rash of incidents, some local and some national, of pharmacists in a variety of chains refusing to dispense contraception. The first case we saw was that of a woman who was denied a refill of her monthly prescription at a CVS in Fort Worth, Texas. So we wrote CVS, and spokesperson Tracylynn Dubois cleared up the confusion. Here’s what Dubois told us:

We respect the deeply held personal beliefs of our pharmacists if they have an objection to filling a given medication. Our policy is that … [if another pharmacist] … is not on duty, the pharmacist must contact a nearby pharmacy, whether it is another CVS or a competitor, in order to refer the customer there to have the prescription filled.

This policy still stands, as confirmed by a February 10 email to RH Reality Check from company spokesperson Mike DeAngelis.

Notably, CVS employees are supposed to proactively declare their desire to refuse to fill or sell requests for emergency contraception. If CVS is on its own initiative placing responsibility on its employees to share their refusal to dispense a health product, and it requires those employees to refer the sale to another employee, why won’t CVS accept the responsibility to ensure that another pharmacist who isn’t biased against preventive health care for women is scheduled to work at the same time?

A Health-Care Company Not Acting Like One

CVS is getting a lot of attention for its decision to stop selling tobacco, and it is positioning itself as a health-care company. As Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark, which operates CVS/pharmacy stores, said in a press release about that decision, “CVS Caremark is playing an expanded role in providing care through our pharmacists and nurse practitioners. The significant action we’re taking today by removing tobacco products from our retail shelves further distinguishes us in how we’re serving our patients, clients and health care providers and better positions us for continued growth in the evolving healthcare marketplace.”

If CVS wishes to keep moving in the direction of providing health care, the women who patronize it need to know they can come in to the store for contraceptives and leave that same store with contraceptives in hand.

Tobacco is a product that we know kills people, and it makes sense for a health company to pull it from its shelves. Contraceptives, on the other hand, are basic medical care for women, and patients of all genders deserve to know these health-care needs will be met by CVS. Nearly two-thirds of women of reproductive age currently use a contraceptive method. It should be noted that the CVS refusal policy extends to all prescriptions, including all contraception, and not just emergency contraception.

From the pharmacy to the religiously affiliated institution providing health insurance, access to contraceptives has come to be framed as two sets of individual liberties, pitted in competition: the right of a woman to access contraceptives, and the right of another individual to act according to his conscience. This frame is troubling when it comes to the provision of medical care, Greg Lipper, senior litigation counsel at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told RH Reality Check. He suggests that when we’re looking at this issue, we should see the question this way: “Does a pharmacist have a right, due to his or her religious beliefs, to interfere with the rights of third parties—by interfering with the medical care of customers who have made their own, independent decisions to purchase and use contraception?”

For now, CVS continues to answer this question the wrong way.

Not a Reasonable Accommodation

CVS is claiming to be a health-care provider while putting a heavier burden on women to get access to primary care. Facing refusal at one store may mean that a woman has to travel a great distances to find another store, particularly in rural areas and for people with limited transportation options and those with disabilities. This scenario is even more troubling given the time-sensitive nature of emergency contraception, which relies on taking a specific dosage in a limited window of time, generally between 24 and 120 hours after unprotected sex, with an efficacy rate that is higher the sooner it is taken. Further, you just may not have additional “time” to take away from work, family, or other responsibilities on a wild goose chase in search of a legal drug that you have a constitutionally protected right to use.

In a follow-up email, RH Reality Check asked DeAngelis to explain what happens when CVS is the only provider in town, and the question was not answered. However, DeAngelis wrote, “The overriding priority regarding the sale of emergency contraception is that the customer’s needs must be met.” This is a logical priority in need of a commitment, in the form of making sure that at least some pharmacists and sales associates willing to dispense and sell emergency contraception are on duty when the lights turn on.

CVS could, and should, guarantee in-store access to emergency contraception. It is reasonable to expect CVS to take a page from its own playbook and step up as a health-care company—in this case changing its policy to guarantee that emergency contraception and all other forms of contraception will be accessible in every store, regardless of individual employees who object to it. This is not about personal beliefs, this is about health care, and no one has the right to deny anyone else access to care based on ideology. Customers of CVS should start demanding that the chain treat all persons equally, including those in need of contraception, whether in an emergency or not.

An RH Reality Check petition urges CVS to change its policy and guarantee in-store access to emergency contraception.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

To schedule an interview with contact director of communications Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

Follow Erin Matson on twitter: @erintothemax

  • Laura

    Are there any major chains that do have a policy of this sort? I may be moving my prescriptions away from CVS soon…

    • Shan

      It’s not always a case of company policy. Some states have laws in place (“conscience clause” laws) allowing individuals to do this and the company CAN’T simply say to them “just do your job and dispense the prescription or get out.” But I do agree that IF the store is going to sell birth control AND either state law or company policy provides individual employees with the right to refuse to sell or dispense it, then the company should also have a policy in place that guarantees that their customers still have access. And they should also have a policy that the customer requesting the product also has the right not to have to deal with the objecting individual any more than the objecting individual has to deal with the “offensive” product.

  • Rdzkz

    Customers are not adherents to your religion. If you cannot do the full job, then please either find someone who can or go out of business.

  • Keith

    If you don’t like the policy, go someplace else.

    • Shan

      It would be one thing if CVS’s policy was not to sell the product at all. They don’t sell cigarettes now and everybody knows that so anybody who wants cigarettes knows to go someplace else.

      Being able to buy a product that a store normally sells shouldn’t depend on whether the employee on duty at the time disapproves of it or not.

      • Lynnsey

        “Being able to buy a product that a store normally sells shouldn’t depend on whether the employee on duty at the time disapproves of it or not.”

        This. THIS! Shout this from the roof tops. It doesn’t seem like it should be a complicated concept to grasp, does it?

        • Shan

          No. I’d like to see what happens if guys start getting refused their topical testosterone prescriptions “because a pregnant woman might touch them and it could harm the baby”!

      • Ella Warnock

        Pro-liars didn’t see a problem at all with the pharmacist, Philip Hall, buying Walgreen’s entire first shipment of OTC Plan B and destroying it. Hey, he bought it with his own money! After that it was his to do with as he pleased! All the while ignoring that he displayed very poor ethics by interfering with Walgreen’s right to sell any product they choose and their right to expect that disgruntled employees will not hijack their freedom of commerce.

        • Shan

          Holy crap, why have I not heard of that?!

          • Ella Warnock

            For reals! I’m going to try to post a link and hope it doesn’t get hung up in moderation. Or just google “Dr. Philip Hall Walgreen’s” and a ton of stuff comes up.

          • Ella Warnock

            Link to Walgreen’s story:

            http://tinyurl.com/kvadrjk

          • Ella Warnock

            Yeah, they jumped all over that story like stink on a junebug.

          • Shan

            Junebugs stink? Huh.

          • Ella Warnock

            Lol, I have no idea. It’s a southern colloquialism.

          • L-dan

            God yes. Thankfully it’s not a smell with much ‘throw’ as the perfumery types say. But like lightening bugs and ladybugs, if you handle them your hands will reek. Ladybugs, possibly appropriately, are the least offensive of that lot.

            Why yes, I played with bugs a lot as a kid. :p

        • L-dan

          You know, if they want to do that, and Walgreens has the sort of inventory system in place that most places do, where that would trigger a larger order the next time (we sold out in one day! Obviously we’re understocking), I’d just laugh at him. He can’t keep doing that nonsense for long.

          Walgreens, on the other hand, would have every reason to fire him if he bought it, triggered a larger order, that then sat around for far longer than usual because he couldn’t afford to keep doing that. He’d have messed up their business operations to make a (stupid) point. And he did it on work time, as I understand.

          • Shan

            I did see this on one of the news articles about the guy:

            ” Walgreens company policy allows pharmacists and other employees to step away from completing a transaction to which they have a moral objection,” he [Jim Graham, a spokesman for Walgreens] said in an email.

            “Our policy also requires the employee to refer the transaction to another employee or manager on duty who will complete the customer’s request.”

          • Ella Warnock

            Walgreen’s had accommodated Hall for six years before the OTC version came out. He did not have to fill prescriptions for Plan B. But my question is was he also opting out of prescribing hormonal birth control? And since HBC is thought by many pro-lie types to be “abortifacient,” then why wasn’t he boldly standing on his principles and purchasing and destroying ANY birth control Walgreen’s carried that he deemed to be abortifacient? Because that’s the only way he could be ideologically and morally consistent. If it’s *wrong* now, then it was wrong six years ago, no?

          • L-dan

            I think he was likely opting out of providing those as well. Farther down here, someone notes that Walgreens policy is to allow that if someone else is available to fill it. Since most HBC is by prescription, he wouldn’t be able to purchase those himself and destroy them. You can’t just buy up someone else’s prescription.

            Had he come in on his off hours to buy it all up, I doubt Walgreens would have done anything, obnoxious as that would have been. By doing what he did on the clock, he’s an employee screwing around with the inventory and their stocking system. That’s being a poor employee.

            I used to work at a tea shop. If I’d come in on my shift, bought all of my favorite pastry and squirreled it away to take home after work, I’d have been in trouble. We’d have none for customers looking for them and we generally restricted purchases to one per customer anyway because of their popularity.

          • Ella Warnock

            Good point about the scrips. As his boss, though, I still would have been none too happy about his buying up all the stock off the clock. That still would have made it unavailable for customers who have every right to expect to purchase it there. And it’s one thing if it’s legitimately sold out, but it’s still, to me, an ethical problem that boils down to interfering with the store’s legitimate business.

            I perhaps wouldn’t have fired him if he had bought it off the clock, but I certainly would have kept a close eye on him, and I suspect he would have pulled some stunt sooner or later that would have been a firing offense.

          • Renee Goodwin

            He hid the medication also and lied to his employer, he was on the clock when the shipment came in

          • Shan

            Maybe he is like the Greens of Hobby Lobby and thinks that regular BC pills are not “abortifacient” but EC pills ARE.

          • L-dan

            0_o

            I suspect that’s a convenient way to ‘stand on principle’ without having to deal with the fact that regular BC is prescribed for a whole list of things other than avoiding babies and they’d rightly be castigated for thinking they have a right to know what reason someone has for their prescription.

          • Ella Warnock

            I had the same thought. I was thinking that I’d screw with him by purchasing larger and larger orders until he cried uncle. There’s more than one way to deal with control freaks.

        • lady_black

          So in other words, he wasted his own money. He’s free to do that, and personally I hope he keeps right on trying to the point where it rockets him into bankruptcy.

        • 1968_Camaro

          Philip Hall should be in jail for doing this

    • goatini

      More like, if employees refuse to do their jobs, they should go work somewhere else.

    • HMax53

      If these kinds of policies continue moving on this restrictive path, there’ll be no where else to go.

    • Jennifer Starr

      If you have a problem with dispensing birth control and Plan B-aka doing your job- find a new profession or do some other kind of pharmacy work that doesn’t involve dispensing medications that you have issues with.

    • lady_black

      Thank you. I’ll do that. And I don’t even NEED birth control. I’ll go someplace else *just* because I don’t like their policy. You heard him, ladies… boycott CVS.

      • L-dan

        Pretty much. I don’t have any regular prescriptions, and the nearest pharmacy to me is CVS. But I’ll be going elsewhere. Now to check if Rite Aid has a similar policy.

      • Renee Goodwin

        CVS is a ripoff anyway, I went to fill a prescription for a generic medication there and they were charging so much for it, that I transferred it to Sam’s Club and got it for about 1/3 of the price

    • P. McCoy

      Fire anyone who imposes their religious so called sensibilities on others. Pharmacies are supposed to dispenser medicines, not cater to people’s religious views points which are biased by nature. We don’t allow the Jehovah’s witnesses to impose their beliefs about blood and blood products on the public so it sshould be the same against anti contraception fanatics.

    • Ella Warnock

      If religious pharmacists don’t like dispensing drugs, they should change careers. Easy peasy.

      • Mirable

        O T: is avalpert is a tad defensive no?

        • Ella Warnock

          Yeah, very much so. All the while accusing you and Kodie of extreme defensiveness. Ze’s pretty butthurt about some aspect of zis life.

          • Mirable

            Btw, myintx just showed up on that old mommyish article. She replied to me. Sigh. She is still using the same old arguments.

          • Ella Warnock

            OMG, I just went over to look. I can’t believe that thing is still going!

          • Jennifer Starr

            Link? Mathilde never changes.

          • Mirable
          • expect_resistance

            Thanks for the link — myintx is annoying. Same old crap.

    • expect_resistance

      That’s not always an option and it shouldn’t have to be.

  • smexys_sidekick

    I wonder if they work on Sundays. . Because, according to Exodus 35:2, working on the Sabbath can result in you being put to death. Just saying.

    • HMax53

      Exodus is part of the Torah; one of the five books of Moses. Old Testament. Sabbath is on Saturdays. Not really germane. Just sayin….

      • peich01

        So does that mean that “Remember the Sabbath” (Saturdays for Jews and Muslims, Sundays for Orthodox, Catholic, Protestants, and evangelical Christians) can be struck from the Ten Commandments? Just sayin’.

        • lady_black

          Who cares?

        • HMax53

          You’re right, I’m right, we’re all right when we “Remember the Sabbath Day and Keep It Holy.” Whichever day. Never meant to start an argument. Mea Culpa.

  • Gwynne875

    Trying force others to conform to the tenets of your own religion is religious oppression. Period. It has no place in America. Anyone whose “faith” is so overwhelming needs to go into a religious enclave and remove themselves from society.

    • anja

      Or seek help

  • sharsand

    If CVS (and others) make decisions for patients based on their religious beliefs, they shouldn’t be working in the pharmacy–place them somewhere else. In fact, CVS (unless their cohorts to this approach) are guilty by association of deciding for those they serve whether or not they should buy contraceptives. Don’t push the blame on employees–blame CVS.

    • RedHead0186

      Exactly! If you’re in a job where your religion or personal beliefs could interfere with the job, maybe that’s not the job for you.

      Not trying to start a war here, just using an example. If I don’t like people having guns, then I shouldn’t work at a place that sells people guns. Period. People shouldn’t put themselves in a position where their religion interferes with what their company is supposed to do.

  • radicalhw

    I remember protesting this policy with Erin at a CVS grand opening in Minneapolis in 2005. nearly every customer we spoke to was shocked that CVS had this policy in place–yet nothing seems to have changed! Thank you for continuing to shed light on this issue, Erin!

  • HMax53

    I recall purposely looking for “Plan B” on drug store shelves in my city, and specifically remember CVS having it, right there, on the shelf, for anyone to pick up. I know. I did. The price was marked on the back. +/- $44. So, what changed? Who got to them? I only use CVS. It’s Walgreens for me from now on. (Unless…)

    • goatini

      What is on the shelf, is a dummy container that has to be brought to the pharmacy window to obtain the product. They do the same with OTC allergy drugs containing psuedoephedrine. The pharmacist still has to dispense.

      • HMax53

        Sorry, you are incorrect. It was a sealed package and the product was definitely inside. This was at the time Texas passed their restrictive anti-choice legislation.

        • goatini

          In California, the packaging for Plan B is a dummy package that has to be redeemed at the pharmacy counter. It’s for two reasons: (1) anti-theft; and (2) age check of the purchaser. I’d be surprised if this were different in Texas, of all places, but if you say so.

          • HMax53

            Sorry for confusion. Meant time-frame: “at the time Tx was..”
            I’m in Ft. Lauderdale FL

          • L-dan

            I thought recent law got rid of the age check in general, and required Plan B (specifically) be available over the counter. I admit I haven’t kept abreast of the age check issues.

          • lady_black

            Correct. And males can buy it too. Which is another bit of false information being spread out there.

          • Shan

            That’s right. I remember reading about men trying to buy it and being refused. All the internet was aflame with excusing the pharmacists because “he could be a rapist trying to cover up his misdeeds!”

            WTF? Because if he is, it’s obviously SO much better for his victim if she ends up pregnant?

          • lady_black

            That made me angry too. It could be a dad or older brother buying it for his daughter or kid sister so she doesn’t mess her life up. Or it could be a husband picking it up for his wife. And their first thought is “rapist.” That says something not so nice about people who judge others like that.

          • goatini

            The last time I checked the Plan B on the shelf at my local CVS, it had to be redeemed at the pharmacy counter. I’ll check again the next time I’m there. You are correct on the age restriction no longer being in place.

      • lady_black

        That’s not what the law says. Plan B doesn’t involve a pharmacist. Other emergency contraceptives might, but it’s non-prescription except for Ella.

        • Ella Warnock

          You called?

          Heh, yeah, it’s my understanding that you could just get it off the shelf and take it to a cashier. I usually just go through the drive-thru at Walgreen’s, so I’ll have to actually go in and check out their set-up.

          • Shan

            They wouldn’t let me buy it in the drive-through. They made me come into the store so they could check my ID (after I’d already waited in line forever). That was several years ago, though, so they may have changed their policy.

          • lady_black

            “Several years ago” yes, there were age restrictions on Plan B. So I guess they had to check your ID like they would for pseudoephedrine.

          • Shan

            I give them my credit card through the pneumatic tube, why not my ID? Meh.

            I’d already been through the wringer with my GPs assistant who didn’t understand why I was calling to see if I needed a prescription for or not (I didn’t know at the time, either) or whether it was even covered. I was taking POPs at the time, and realized the “morning after” when I went to take my pill that I’d completely forgotten to take the previous day’s pill. After several back-and-forth phone calls, they were still trying to ask me what part of the pill packet cycle I was on and I nearly flipped out and yelled “GET MY F*CKING MEDICAL RECORDS, THAT’S NOT THE KIND I TAKE!” With POPs, it can be a bad thing if you’re even an hour late, nevermind a whole day.

            So I was already in a pretty high dudgeon as it was; I didn’t need to feel screwed around by the pharmacy staff on top of it all. If the guy behind the counter had told me to go somewhere else because he didn’t approve of EC, I would have caused quite a ruckus.

          • Ella Warnock

            Ugh, I’m sorry you had to go through that.

          • Shan

            It wasn’t as bad as what a lot of women have to go through. I think the thing that was most frustrating was how little help I got from my GP’s office and how long it took me to realize how CLUELESS they were. By the time I got to the pharmacy – so many unnecessary HOURS after I wanted to get the medication – any little thing would have set me off.

            Oh, and at the same Walgreen’s (but not at the prescription counter) when I went back to buy a HPT to make sure the EC had worked because I was late, I paid for it at the cosmetics counter because there was no line. The girl checking me out was so EXCITED. “Oooh, are you hoping for a yes or a no?!” I know she meant well, but I still told her: “That’s a REALLY invasive question for a stranger to ask.”

            I mean, if I’d been buying condoms, would she have said “Oooh, are you hoping to get lucky tonight?!”

          • L-dan

            Lol…I’m pretty sure some have asked that. I know I’ve gotten “well someone’s having a party,” when I came up with wine, bananas and condoms to the checkout.

          • Shan

            I would have said: “No, I’m teaching my kid how to use condoms. That’s what the bananas are for. And the wine should be obvious.”

          • L-dan

            No kids. But I could have really gotten a rise by saying I was teaching my cats how to use them. :p

            I admit that I tend to pick up something phallic when I buy condoms, just to give myself a giggle waiting to see which clerks do a double take.

            It’s the little joys in life.

          • Shan

            LOL! That’s hilarious. I make my fella buy ‘em as a reminder that he should really just go get snipped.

            The condoms, not bananas.

          • Renee Goodwin

            Funniest thing I have ever seen someone getting at the checkout was a young couple buying a huge box of condoms and a large glow in the dark puzzle.

          • Jennifer Starr

            LOL–that sounds like my kind of party :)

          • lady_black

            Sorry but that’s just rude.

          • L-dan

            Eh, it’s a college town. I get the same thing if I’m picking up a few packs of hard cider.

            The questions at the food co-op tend to be more, “what are you going to do with that?” when I’m getting a few pounds of flaxseed or a vegetable the checker’s not familiar with. Or, “so are those any good?” with new items that they’ve been curious about. It tends toward convivial chatty rather than nosy or disapproving chatty.

          • lady_black

            Ah. So you don’t have to sign a store log? I’ve never purchased Plan B. But I’ve purchased other age-restricted products (pseudoephedrine). I had to show the pharmacist my license, fill out the blanks in a store log book and sign for them. The log book wouldn’t fit into a “pneumatic tube” so you’d really have to physically go to the pharmacy counter. I don’t imagine the procedure is any different for any drug that’s restricted to behind the counter sales. It’s to cover the pharmacy’s behind in case there were any questions.

          • Shan

            No, I don’t remember signing any kind of log. THAT would have pissed me off even more. ;-)

          • lady_black

            It pissed me off every time I tried to buy generic Actifed. But look at it this way. If the law says they are restricted against selling to minors, how are they going to prove they don’t sell to minors? Having a signed log with names, addresses, and signatures provides proof they are checking ID. Haven’t you ever heard the expression “Not documented = not done?” It’s something we go by in the healthcare field.

          • Renee Goodwin

            The dang drive thru has a window and a little box you can put your id in. I think they were just messing with you

        • whatareuthinking

          What’s the age restriction? At our CVS it’s right out there. I keep one at home locked away because I have 3 teenage daughters (not sexually active…that I know of anyway). This might sound nuts but in the event of an assault, I will offer it to them (not force it on them as it is their decision). But seriously I’m more worried about pregnancy through rape for them, especially since we live in a state where rapists still get visitation rights in the event of a pregnancy through the rape.

          • Shan

            Keeping it on hand is a good idea. Plus, it has a 3yr shelf life.

          • lady_black

            Right now there isn’t one for Plan B. There are a few others that are prescription only for under 17, and Ella is prescription only. A minor can ALWAYS get a sympathetic other party to buy EC for them. Plan B one step they can buy themselves.

  • Laurie A

    It’s not right to put someone in a position where they can make decisions for someone else’s health. This policy doesn’t just affect contraception, when you think about it. If the pharmacist doesn’t believe that insulin should be dispensed or sold, they can refuse that as well. I agree with Rdzkz, don’t take the job if you can’t do it fully.

    • atheistcable

      I agree with your point, but it’s far more than a matter of a woman’s health. To allow a religious fanatic to FORCE a woman to have a baby she can’t afford or doesn’t want for any number of reasons–is outrageous. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to sign this petition.

  • http://www.vasumurti.org VasuMurti

    To be fair: emergency “contraception” is really abortifacient if it takes effect after fertilization. But why would you be employed as a pharmacist if you’re morally opposed to dispensing abortifacient drugs? (It’s like joining the military if you’re a pacifist, or working in a topless bar if you’re uncomfortable with even partial nudity, or working in a butcher shop if you’re a vegetarian.) No one would take it seriously if the employees at an abortion clinic decided *they* don’t want to assist in abortion, either.

    • lady_black

      To be fair: NO it is NOT. Plan B is a contraceptive, and if you have already ovulated, you’re sh*t out of luck. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get pregnant. You may or may not get pregnant if an ovum has been fertilized. It’s by no means automatic.

      • L-dan

        If there’s a fertilized egg around, it may even make it more likely that you’ll get pregnant since progesterone is the hormone that makes things hospitable and welcoming for that to take place. The ‘you must welcome every wee blastocyst into your womb’ crowd should love it.

        If it’s positively shown to put up a ‘welcome’ sign though, do you think that crowd will run out and encourage people to use it to save the little lost eggs? My money is on no, because we all know it’s not really about the welfare of embryos to most of them.

      • Mirable

        Life begins at pre fertilization.

        • lady_black

          Exactly, LMAO!

    • L-dan

      Even if EC had this effect (which it does not) putting up a “not welcome” sign on the uterus is only abortifacient in the minds of people who don’t know anything about science. Most fertilized eggs never make it to implanting or very long beyond, making the environment slightly more inhospitable toward a pregnancy is not an abortion. There needs to be a pregnancy for an abortion (spontaneous or otherwise) to take place.

  • dagobarbz

    How disgusting. Imagine if you had to spend a few hours planning a bus ride to get your meds, only to find they refuse to serve you, and the next pharmacy is an hour away. That is disrespectful to people who rely on public transport, not to mention all those other things I can’t list without swearing…

  • Jennifer Starr

    Unless the pharmacist is being forced to personally ingest contraception themselves, I don’t even see why their ‘conscience’ should enter into the picture. And I certainly don’t see why it should take precedence over the customer’s beliefs and conscience. Providing the prescription is valid, their job is to fill it. Not to inconvenience the customer by forcing their religious beliefs on them.

    • Shan

      That can depend on what state law says. In Kansas (a.k.a., Brownbackistan) where I live, a law was enacted in 2012 that gives a pharmacist the right to refuse to dispense any drug they “reasonably believe” might cause an abortion. And they don’t even have to REFER the patient/customer to someone who will. Not only that, the way I understand it, they can’t be fired OR sued for it.

      Here’s the text of the summary since I probably still can’t post links:

      Medical Care Facilities; Abortion; Sterilization; House Sub. for SB 62

      House Sub. for SB 62 provides that no person shall be required to make a referral for medical procedures or the prescription or administration of any device or drug that results in the termination of a pregnancy or an effect of which the person reasonably believes may result inthe termination of a pregnancy. Additionally, no person is required to perform or participate in the prescription or administration of any device or drug that results in the termination of a pregnancy or an effect of which the person reasonably believes may result in the termination of a pregnancy. The refusal to perform or participate in medical procedures that result in the termination of a pregnancy shall not be the basis for civil liability to any person, and no medical care facility, medical care facility administrator, or governing body of a medical care facility shall terminate the person’s employment, prevent or impair the person’s practice or occupation, or impose any other sanction on the person because of the person’s exercise of these rights.

      Similarly, the bill adds language stating no medical care facility, medical care facility administrator, or governing board of any medical care facility shall be required to permit the performance of, referral for, or participation in medical procedures, or in the prescription or administration of any device or drug, that would result in the termination of a human pregnancy or an effect of which the person reasonably believes may result in the termination of a human pregnancy. The refusal to do so does not constitute grounds for civil liability to any person.

      The bill also states no person is required to make referrals for medical procedures that result in sterilization and no medical care facility, medical care facility administrator, or governing board of any medical care facility is required to permit the performance of, referral for, or participation in medical procedures that result in sterilization. Refusal to do so is not a basis for civil liability to any person.

      • L-dan

        But applying that to contraceptive pills means redefining ‘pregnancy’ to begin at fertilization. ‘Reasonably believing’ that pregnancy begins at fertilization, and that everyone is required to welcome fertilized eggs into their wombs, really, really needs to be challenged as an example of extreme religious beliefs being imposed upon those who do not share them. Disgusting.

        • Shan

          I agree completely.

        • lady_black

          Actually it involves redefining pregnancy to before ovulation takes place. Think about it.

          • Ella Warnock

            Pregnancy is pretty much becoming “whenever you have sex, birth control or not.”

          • L-dan

            bingo.

            I mean, they’re really only a short step away from “you can’t refuse sex, because then you’re refusing that potential life a chance.”

          • Ella Warnock

            They might take it a little further. Even if you have a tubal ligation and your husband a vasectomy. Well, no BC is ever 100%! That stuff grows back ALL THE TIME! Even if you’ve gone to those lengths, you’re STILL inviting a new life every time you have sex !!!11eleventy11!!

          • L-dan

            Yeah…God performs miracles. If you get pregnant despite such safeguards obviously it’s even more important that you do not contemplate turning away the miracle.

            I’m more of the opinion that if God can’t respect my really damn obvious lack of consent to pregnancy in that case, he can take his miracle and shove it.

          • Morgan

            ROFLMAO! “Grows back?!?” HA! Funniest thing I’ve heard all day, not to mention completely FALSE. Jezuz, get a freakin’ medical dictionary next time before you make yourself look like an idiot!

          • Renee Goodwin

            I knew a woman that claimed that she had her youngest child after she had already had a hysterectomy

          • lady_black

            Yeah. Sure she did. That’s impossible.

          • HeilMary1

            I read of one such case. After a hysterectomy, the fetus developed in abdominal tissue and was delivered by c-section.

          • cjvg

            Many years ago I did a medical side effect interview for a confirmed biological female patient participating in a migraine study (this was 20 years or so back when prostate checks were just being brought to the attention of the public) She insisted that the medication caused her prostrate to shrink and fall out (?)

            I tried to explain to her that biological females do not have prostrates, and that prostrates never just “fall out” even if it was possible for her to have one. It did not matter she insisted that she had this side effect and by law and study regulations I had to write this up.

            Try reporting that to primary investigator, pharmaceutical company and the FDA!

          • Ms. Pris

            I am so totally flummoxed wondering what on earth happened to make her think her prostate “fell out.”

          • cjvg

            You and me both, especially since she was the control group and not on any meds.

          • Ms. Pris

            I recall, on some women’s health message board a decade or so ago, a woman who insisted that she was pregnant, even though she had had a hysterectomy. She claimed that the “baby” was basically moving all around her body. She said the “baby” didn’t show up on an ultrasound because it was behind her shoulder.

            Now, that’s just mentally ill. But what was messed-up were all the other women who would shout down anyone who tried to tell her she wasn’t pregnant. “You aren’t her doctor so you can’t tell her she isn’t pregnant!” “A woman knows when she’s pregnant!” “God works miracles!”

          • Jennifer Starr

            Was that Joanna (aka. fatfamily02)? Last I heard it was possibly twins or something–she claimed they were going to be born in April of 2006 and in 2007 she was supposedly twenty weeks along and she was still claiming that she was pregnant and the twins were ‘just late’. Hilarious and disturbing at the same time.

          • Ms. Pris

            I wish I remembered! I think she was either mentally ill or just trolling, but it”s the people who always insisted that it was absolutely possible for her to be pregnant, with a fetus crawling all around under her skin, after a total hysterectomy. I hope it was just trolling rather than a miserably ill woman out there somewhere.

          • Ella Warnock

            Morgan, come on, it’s *sarcasm*. You know, sarcasm? Pro-liar fundies really do think tubes grow back all the time. Sarcasm.

          • lady_black

            In my case my tubal ligation never “grew back” and for that, I’m eternally grateful.

          • Ella Warnock

            Mine didn’t either, and neither did my husband’s vasectomy. I’ve been assured by the most strident and crazed of antis that we had just as much risk of both our procedures failing as anyone not using birth control at all. **eye roll**

          • PetrovaFossil

            Before the procedure was performed with cauterization, the fallopian tubes sometimes did “grow back” – which was one of the reasons for changing the procedure to cauterize the tubes.

          • Ella Warnock

            True. I just think it’s so ridiculous how vociferous some of them are insisting that that two permanent sterilization techniques still had a higher failure rate than studies would indicate. According to them they’ve “got science on their side.” Well, unless we’re talking about sterilization. Then it’s more of the same “If gawd wants you to have a baby NOTHING can stop it!” crap.

          • Mirable

            If you don’t want to get pregnant, I would suggest that you have your ovaries removed before you reach puberty, you dirty s1ut.

          • PetrovaFossil

            I love it when you channel the batshit crazy antis!

          • HeilMary1

            You can never underestimate their battiness.

          • Mirable

            The sad thing is, I was not joking. These people would force an 8yo rape victim to give birth.

          • Ella Warnock

            Aw, Mirable, why you gotta be like that? ;->

          • BJ Survivor

            Sadly, on a Pandagon discussion a libertarian, MRA nutjob stated that if women did not want to gestate a rape pregnancy, then they should get a hysterectomy at puberty. It’s too bad that such stupidity doesn’t automatically result in a burst aneurysm of the spouter of such drivel.

          • Ella Warnock

            And men who want to spread their seed far and wide but wish to not hang around to support their offspring should have a vasectomy at puberty, I suppose. Oh, wait, no . . . he’s a man, so he’s got as many choices as he wants.

          • Shan

            You’d think that would render the “it might be an abortifacient” argument moot, then.

          • Ella Warnock

            Word.

          • seagazer101

            LMAO

          • anja

            This religious exception nonsense has gotten so out of hand, we’re reaching the point where the loonies will start to claim women are born pregnant and any refusal for sex or use of contraception is murder. That way they get their way of blocking contraception, abortion, and rape prosecution all in one shot.

          • L-dan

            Not really. I’m going by their ‘reasonably held’ conviction that it *may* be abortifacient because it *might* make the uterus inhospitable to a fertilized egg. That’s all pretty dubious and has a lot of may and might going on. But it’s straight up ridiculous because it defines ‘termination of pregnancy’ to include ‘discouraging implantation’ which is ridiculous when pregnancy doesn’t start until implantation. LMP is a convenient way to date a pregnancy, but doctors don’t pretend you were actually pregnant two weeks before ovulation.

            They *claim* that they don’t object to preventing ovulation. As it stands, they’re not currently objecting to that…just ignoring the evidence that EC doesn’t affect implantation.

            Now, they’re ignoring that evidence because they don’t yet have a ‘pro-life’ argument as to why they object to blocking ovulation. I expect they’ll come up one soon.

          • lady_black

            Hmm I read just last week on an anti-choice site about how pregnancy can now be “detected before fertilization.” Not true, and never WILL be true. But that’s what the site said. My point was (follow closely here) that no one knows if a woman has ovulated yet, nor if an ovum has been fertilized. Therefore, they cannot ever call it “abortifacient” even under their messed-up definition. They are trying to prevent women from accessing contraception. PERIOD.

          • Ella Warnock

            If we didn’t already know what abortion was really about, we do now.

          • L-dan

            So they’ve already cooked up their reason…and it’s even more bogus than ignoring the data that EC doesn’t block implantation at all.

            how…creative.

          • Mirable

            The sacred sperm. The idea is that a woman loses all rights to her body upon ejaculation. That PL is fighting for the rights of sperm over women. And over men – whether they want kids or not. The sacred sperm, as a holy symbol of patriarchy, trumps everything. You can thank Amanda Marcotte for this analysis.

          • PetrovaFossil

            A historical “right”, enshrined in ancient religious texts as the requirement that a rape victim marry her rapist to restore her “honor”.

          • cjvg

            What a lovely concept that somehow the honor of a woman is damaged by a criminal act she did not commit, and even worse of which she is the victim

            Sure makes you wonder why the “honor” of the rapist who committed the criminal act and victimized an innocent person is not affect by his own actions.

            Usually these are the exact same people that scream personal responsibility as the reason that a woman must be forced to carry every pregnancy to term. However rapist men never have to take personal responsibility, women have to do that for him.

          • Renee Goodwin

            Is there an end to the crazy? How the bloody hell can someone be pregnant if the dang egg hasn’t been fertilized, what on earth is between those people ears? Cause they sure don’t seem to have a brain in their head

          • lady_black

            Oh they love to play semantics games with the word “conception.” But they fail to realize that whether they define conception as “fertilization” or as “implantation,” fertilization will NEVER be synonymous with “pregnancy/”

          • anja

            They can’t prove their point with science and facts so the just make up their own drivel and pawn if off to the masses as truth. It doesn’t matter that they are often easily disproved, they will not accept any evidence that their beliefs are wrong.
            It’s shockingly disturbing to watch evidence presented in an “Women’s health” law suit. The anti’s usually bring overwhelming amounts of religious testimony (how that’s relevant or even legal, I don’t know) and the same old medical and scientific arguments that have been shot down and disproved over and over again by scientists and medical professionals.

          • enkelin

            No, Most birth control pills do not stop fertilization but keep the fertilized egg from implanting itself into the uterus. Ovulation takes place, then fertilization but no implantation. So the religious objectors can refuse to dispense birth control pills because in many cases fertilization has taken place and they call it an abortion. The thing is most fertilized eggs pass through naturally anyway.

          • Shan

            It’s exactly the opposite: mainly they prevent ovulation; secondarily interfering with fertilization if ovulation DOES occur. There’s no scientific evidence that hormonal birth controls function by preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg and plenty of it that indicates it does NOT.

          • enkelin

            If that is the case and no egg is fertilized, why do the religious nuts have a problem with it? That just makes them even MORE ridiculous.

          • Shan

            Because they think their “sincerely held religious beliefs” should be enshrined into law?

          • L-dan

            Well duh?

            Are religious nuts particularly well known for their scientific rigor where you’re from? I mean, these are the folks who fight the teaching of evolution and have a contingent that thinks the earth is 4000-6000 years old at most.

          • Shan

            Oh, yeah. The waiting room at my mechanic’s shop is littered with anti-geology brochures insisting that the Earth can’t possibly be more than 6000 years old. Which is kind of funny to me considering the machines they work on are powered by FOSSIL fuels, not prayers.

          • L-dan

            Oh man…You do *not* want to read the geology ‘textbooks’ written by these folks and their abiotic theories of petroleum formation. If you think the anti-evolutionist have to play Twister with the facts to make them fit, you’ll find that these folks would look like a plate of spaghetti doing the same.

          • Shan

            My son (17yo) wants me to bring one home next time I go for an oil change. Maybe I’ll read it with him.

          • lady_black

            Nuts don’t need reasons. Or science.

          • colleen2

            “why do the religious nuts have a problem with it?”

            The pharmacist I heard interviewed a few years back said, “because it creates a hostile environment in the womb” As if he and his church owned ‘the womb’.

          • Shan

            “”because it creates a hostile environment in the womb””

            Except that it doesn’t. The “hostile endometrium” idea was promoted back when the pill first came out and they weren’t sure EXACTLY how it worked. Yes, pill-users generally had a thinner endometrium (easily evidenced by lighter menstruation) BUT that was for anovulatory cycles. Once ovulation happens, there’s a whole cascade of hormones that changes it. Besides which, if a fertilized egg couldn’t implant in a “thinner” endometrium, there would be no ectopic pregnancies. I mean, the little suckers can implant outside the uterus where there’s NO endometrium. Talk about a “hostile environment”!

          • colleen2

            Shan…. The religious right is seldom right on the facts and particularly when the subject is the bodies of women. This same pharmacist refused to divulge the name of his pharmacy (he owned a small pharmacy in Seattle) but he did use his ‘faith’ and ‘conscience’ as an advertizing gimmick at church.

          • Shan

            As the owner, I think that’s a different issue. He can sell whatever he wants in his own shop (even though I disagree vehemently with his reasons for not selling BC). But he should have a sign on the front door and next to his Yellow Pages ad (or wherever) so that nobody wastes their time trying to get an “objectionable” prescription filled there. And I don’t even know if people take paper scrips in anymore; my doctor always sends them electronically to wherever I ask her to.

          • Ella Warnock

            Good point about ectopic pregnancies. Fertilized eggs sometimes can be very tenacious little buggers.

          • fiona64

            Because they are nitwits.

          • anja

            enkelin, you just answered your own question. They’re “religious nuts” they don’t have the ability to justify their actions with logic, facts, or common sense.

          • lady_black

            WRONG. All types of birth control pills work by suppressing ovulation.

          • fiona64

            No, that is not at all how BCPs work. They mimic pregnancy hormones … and your body does not ovulate because the hormonal load says “no need to do that, we’re already pregnant here.”

            Good grief. Learn to science, please.

      • seagazer101

        Thank God I live in California!

      • Renee Goodwin

        Yet so many women need the pill for other reasons, I took it for a while when I had really bad ovarian cysts.

      • HeilMary1

        And if women denied sterilization and contraception DIE from the resulting unwanted pregnancies, the pharacists should be jailed for homicide.

      • anja

        Just because it’s a law doesn’t mean it’s right or just. Bigoted leaders pass all kinds of unjust legislation because they happen to be in the position to do so. More conscientious leaders need to amend or remove the laws or it needs to be challenged in the courts as a violation of church & state as well as unsafe medical practices.

    • RedHead0186

      This is the part I don’t get. No one’s making them take the medicine, just fulfill their obligation to provide the medication to someone else. It’s essentially forcing their religion/personal beliefs onto someone else, especially when they’re vulnerable/in a time of need.

  • Reynardine

    Someone who wants to dispense morality instead of medicine should be a preacher, not a pharmacist.

    • anja

      Preachers should not dispense morality. It’s their dispensing of “morality” that is the main cause of problems like these. When religious beliefs effect your interactions with others in a negative way, morality should cause those people to step away from those interactions and follow another path not to try and force their version of “morality” upon others. They are in a sense using their position to forcibly evangelize their religious beliefs to the detriment of others. Something that is both morally wrong and unethical under the “freedom of religion”.
      These kind of actions are no different than a raciest doctor refusing to help patients of a different race. Something that we all agree is wrong and illegal.

      • Reynardine

        Nonetheless, it is surely not a job for a pharmacist.

  • pootanki

    Another reason NOT to shop at CVS. Fortunately where I live, there are other choices and I use them now. CVS seems to have bought out a lot of the other drugstores recently. They’re everywhere. Kind of creepy. I boycotted Target for the same reason. Back under Bush, they refused to fill prescriptions if their employees found the medications “offensive” to their lifestyle. They eventually lifted that and denied employees’ religious beliefs to rule over their job description. More and more we seem to be living back in the 13th century where religious beliefs take precedence over lucidity and reason.

  • Rod W

    Sad day for freedom of religion when you can’t get freedom from religion. The one requires the other or you have neither.

    • paulsimon

      A lesson that has yet to be learned by many, but nevertheless true.

  • Teresa P

    I shop at CVS. I have always seen the plan B on the shelf.

    • L-dan

      I imagine this policy hasn’t actually been triggered all that often. But it’s hard to know, since a lot of people would probably be able to just go to another nearby one and would decide that raising a fuss about it was more trouble than it was worth for them.

      Regardless, it shouldn’t be in place.

  • expect_resistance

    A pharmacist does NOT have a right, due to his or her religious beliefs, to interfere with the rights of third parties—by interfering with the medical care of customers who have made their own, independent decisions to purchase and use contraception. CVS should, guarantee in-store access to emergency contraception. Customers of CVS need to hold their feet to the fire on this. One problem with this is that CVS corporate does’t seem to care. They are a huge company and are often the only game in town.

    • 1968_Camaro

      Interfering with medical care is practicing medicine without a license. If I ran a pharmacy and someone did that I would call the police and have that “pharmacist”
      arrested and tried in a court of law for a very serious crime that could easily cause a patient bodily harm.

  • http://quipstravailsandbraisedoxtails.blogspot.com/ Michele Hays

    Question about OTC and prescription emergency contraception: are these drugs ever prescribed for other purposes? The reason I ask: I was once refused a surgical procedure at a hospital because it was a tubal ligation. Problem is, I didn’t need it for “birth control,” but to prevent a hemorrhage if a fertilized egg happened to implant on my damaged uterus: no pregnancy could have taken place.

    For the same condition, I was prescribed a variety of different hormonal treatments, most of which are considered “birth control” but which were prescribed to me to prevent the spread of endometriosis through my body. Does CVS somehow determine which prescriptions are for “birth control” and which are for other health conditions?

    I’m guessing not, because they are a pharmacy and not doctors. This is why these decisions should be between a woman and her doctor; no third party has any place in them. (CVS probably sells prescription opiates, too – aren’t those considered immoral in certain circumstances? Why not refuse to offer those?)

    • RedHead0186

      Interesting point. There are other reasons that people take birth control that have nothing to do with preventing pregnancy (though yes that is the primary use). So not only are these people forcing their beliefs on others, but they may be doing so with incorrect information, which is even worse.

      • 1968_Camaro

        These jackasses who call themselves pharmacists who are pulling this kind of crap are practicing medicine without a license!! Sorry for the rough lingo here but I am really disgusted with anyone being a pharmacist and attempting to practice medicine without being a licensed MD or DO. Someone could get killed with this kind of “practice” by a pharmacist and then the company involved could be on the losing end of a HUGE lawsuit. This is NOT something to be taken lightly!

    • lady_black

      OK here goes. The Catholic teaching is that treatments and procedures meant to cure medical problems are treatable, EVEN if the treatment renders the person sterile. For example, a hysterectomy for cervical cancer is permissible, because whether or not you get pregnant, cervical cancer is going to be a big problem. BUT (and this is a huge BUT) a hysterectomy done because a pregnancy would cause a health problem is impermissible. It’s crazy, but there it is. Taking birth control because pregnancy would cause a problem is a mortal sin. This is why I’m very hostile toward Catholic theology in general, and Catholic healthcare specifically. I would shut it all down in a heartbeat if it were within my power to do so. And please, PLEASE never go to a Catholic hospital with a pregnancy complication. They will not treat you decently. Go anywhere but to one of those hospitals. When it comes to pregnant women they are dens of malpractice.

  • Wayne Alan Blood

    Wait a second… They STOCK items that they refuse to sell? That’s plain idiocy.

    • Shan

      The pharmacy stocks them but the company policy is, apparently, that employees are allowed to refuse to sell them but ONLY if there’s another employee or manager available to take over the transaction. Which sounds innocuous enough IF they stick to it AND the customer is not inconvenienced or embarrassed in any way, but it doesn’t seem to always work out that way.

  • carolrhill814

    I thank GOD everyday that I go to a Mom and Pop operation and they will never ever refuse you for what ever you need.

  • Morgan

    How about this: If you as a pharmacist can’t fill ALL prescriptions that are presented to you, find another line of work! Next thing you know, some jerkoff pharmacist will start refusing to fill heart medications, etc. for older people because he or she doesn’t believe they should take them. It will just get worse as time goes on.

    • L-dan

      Can you imagine a pharmacist who’s a homeopathy convert?

  • Russmar

    I have always shopped at CVS and am very surprised by this controversy over a pharmacist’s faith/religion. Wherever one works in a pharmacy, one should be willing to do what is asked by the customer, not what one thinks is correct in one’s own personal views. This faith/religious attempt to make contraceptives unavailable is going way over the top and has no place in USA.

  • Renee Goodwin

    The only reason CVS probably stopped selling tobacco is because their prices for it were so high nobody was buying it. I never bought any there, but I could see the prices from the customer’s side of the counter.
    The whole “I don’t want to fill your prescription for the Birth Control Pill” because it is against my religion thing is just bull-crap, the pharmacist doesn’t have to do anything but check the prescription, make sure everything is in order, grab a package of the medication and slap a doggone label on it, ain’t nobody making him or her use birth control so they just need to get over themselves, it ain’t none of their business why I or anyone else needs a legal medication

  • http://apainedlife.blogspot.com/ Carol Levy

    This is the American Taliban (and attempt to create a theocracy one store at a time)

  • Alex Warhead

    funny enough; if you ask an potential employee if they have any religious objections that may interfer with the normal business of a company (like, say, a cashier refusing to sell bc/ec) you could face a legal suite based on discrimination of religion. that’s a bummer.

    • lady_black

      You can’t ask in that way. Just like you can’t ask about kids and child care arrangements, or disabilities. You can say “This position involves working 9am to 5pm with occasional extended hours in an emergency.” Is there anything that would interfere with that? You can hand them a list of essential job functions and have them sign their name indicating that they would have no problem accomplishing the essential job functions (with or without accommodation). You may NOT ask questions in a way that might be construed as discriminatory. I majored in business law, so I’m familiar with what types of questions might be dangerous. I would stay away from religion completely.

      • Alex Warhead

        understood. i’m just a “straight to the point” person.
        “oh, your invisible buddy says that you can’t sell a particular item in my inventory. get the *&^% out of my office!”

        • lady_black

          Yep. Can’t do that. That’s inviting a lawsuit.

  • JamieHaman

    Pay the price of your conscience….don’t distribute medicine at all if you can’t distribute all legally prescribed or otc medicine. Just take your conscience and go home.

  • L-dan

    I’ve never yet heard of a clerk unwilling to sell condoms. Of course, guys can do whatever they want in the minds of these folks, because they’re not putting a precious fertilized egg at risk.

    • PetrovaFossil

      Moreover, the vast scope and breadth of the variety in the condom section is breathtaking – portraying sex for pleasure’s sake as a festive, multicolored, multi-textured carnival of carnal joy.

      Compare and contrast to the dour puritanism of female contraceptive availability in the self-same drugstore.

  • foxy9795

    So what about the pharmacist’s strongly held beliefs. This is about the beliefs, and the needs, of the WOMAN who needs the contraceptive.

  • dagobarbz

    Let’s suppose that a woman gets sent to another CVS, only she hasn’t the money for the extra bus fare to get to a store that is five miles away. I swear to god I would sue those bastards for making me miss that morning after pill.

    It’s similar to a grocery store that employs check out staff who refuse to handle pork. Are you in the business of selling bacon or imposing your religious nonsense on secular grocery shoppers?

    And if the latter, you’re fraudulently posing as offering a service you don’t deliver. Fraud is illegal.

  • Annabelle

    In that case; “I’m sorry sir, but I can’t sell you Viagra…”

  • Annabelle

    “I’m sorry sir, but I can’t sell you Viagra…”

  • Yolanda M. Macaraeg

    Religion has no place in a pharmacy. WHO declared these pharmacists God, where they have a right to decide who is moral, and who is not? As it is, this system is all f***ed up. Hell no, you can’t decide for me. Do your job, or they should find someone who will. A LOT of people are looking for jobs!

  • painkills2

    Well, not going to CVS anymore… What about Walgreens?