Walgreens Jerks You Around When You Try To Buy Plan B

A reader’s girlfriend tried to buy Plan B yesterday, but the Oxford, MS Walgreens pharmacy seemed to go out of their way to make it has hard as possible. Mere incompetence doesn’t explain what happened. Instead, it sounds more like a consciously decided system of policies designed to discourage people from buying the pill…

The reader writes:

I live in Oxford, MS, and my girlfriend and I researched the availability of Plan B in this state. We knew there might some puritanical problems with purchasing it here in Mississippi – we have all kinds of arcane alcohol laws and only one abortion clinic in the state, after all – and from what we could tell, a pharmacist can refuse to sell Plan B to a woman on religious/moral grounds. But otherwise pharmacies do carry it, and it should be available to a woman as long as she can prove she is over age 18. As this is a university town and a top-ranked party school, we supposed it wouldn’t be as hard to get Plan B as in other really small, ultra-conservative rural towns. And we also figured that a corporate pharmacy such as Walgreens would be less troublesome to deal with than a mom-and-pop one.

Well, the other day we decided to be extra-safe and to get the Plan B pill from Walgreens here in town. My girlfriend went and requested Plan B, equipped with the knowledge that it’s a non-prescription drug available with ID. She said the pharmacy worker started asking for proof of insurance in order to get the pill. My girlfriend refused and asked to speak to someone in charge. The pharmacist then came, and my girlfriend told him she simply wanted Plan B and that her ID should be good enough. The pharmacist then went about getting the pill, but they also seem to have a policy, a lá abortion clinics, of forcing a waiting period of an hour and giving adoption literature to the person requesting the contraceptive. Now, Plan B is just an additional spermicide, not an abortion pill, but that’s another can of worms. In the end, my girlfriend demanded the Plan B immediately, and she got it, but not without a fair amount of interference on Walgreens’ part. They also insisted on writing down her driver’s license number.

I’m wondering how much trouble other people may have had with Walgreens (or any other pharmacy) over acquiring Plan B. There are several other Red States that make allowances for the pharmacists’ “moral concerns” to get in the way of getting Plan B. What are our rights in getting this pill right away? Walgreens’ website didn’t indicate that they could possibly get all high-and-mighty with her when she went to make the purchase. Could they also get uppity when you buy other kinds of contraception?

(Photo: Monotasker)


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  1. Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★ says:

    Just a quick question: Can this interfere with any other medication? I only ask b/c I could see a pharmacist asking for personal info to make sure there is no interaction. So it’s a CYA and “Do No Harm” thing. After that, don’t push your religion or beliefs on other people. Your rights end where mine begin.

    • Nik in Denver, formerly in NOLA says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★: IIRC, it doesn’t have any adverse reactions with other meds.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★: IANAD, but I looked this up once out of curiosity. Not terribly many common medicines are interfered with by hormonal birth control, but some common medicines interfere with their effectiveness (certain antibiotics are notable for this, for example). If the gal went to her own pharmacist, the information about her other medications would have been on file. If she went to a different one, the question “what other medications are you currently taking” would have been sufficient. There wasn’t any excuse for the waiting period, the propaganda, or the drivers’ license intimidation tactics.

      • Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★ says:

        @speedwell: I agree with the no excuse for everything, unless it was an established procedure that applies to everyone everywhere, and was established for a reason other than fanaticism. If so, then the info should be available to show it’s not b/c the tech/pharma is a zealot, I.E. why some meds are behind the counter due to meth mis-use. As I have said to many people, I don’t ask for special treatment, I just want to be be treated equally(I worked in a heavily female dept at one job, and use to have “special rules” made b/c I was the only guy).

        I was just wondering as, the way I understand it, Plan B is a larger dose of hormones than the standard pill, so I wondered if given the larger dose, it could cause some problem that lower doses wouldn’t.

      • bwcbwc says:

        @speedwell: Walgreens where my mother lives requires you to record your drivers license number to receive any prescriptions at all when you sign for receipt. And they keep it on a ledger form so that anyone who signs after you can read your D/L number, at least until that sheet gets filled up.

        • jenl1625 says:

          @bwcbwc: Except that this isn’t a prescription.

          When I bought it (in Ohio), the pharmacist made a point of telling the tech to check my ID for my age but NOT to record any identifying information.

        • cozynite says:

          @bwcbwc: Wouldn’t that be illegal or something? That’s a major privacy/ possible identity theft issue. Did she ever ask why that was needed?

    • mythago says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★: Lots of OTC drugs have interactions with other medications. I doubt Walgreens also makes people sit around for an hour before they’re allowed to buy Maalox.

    • oneandone says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★: There might be a legitimate question or two about smoking or other risks for blood clots. Rare, but important side effects associated with birth control hormones, particularly for smokers or women with high blood pressure for other reasons.

      But that doesn’t seem to be the case here. I haven’t heard of any other major side effects or drug interactions a pharmacist might feel compelled to mention before sale – I’d expect them to just emphasize that the purchaser read the leaflet carefully.

      / not a pharmacist or medical doctor

    • esd2020 says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★: It’s over the counter and if it weren’t for the not-medically-based age requirement, you could sell it out of vending machines.

    • Tmoney02 says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★: The only drugs that might provide a problem are other hormones, which if you are taking large dosages of Hormones you would be advised to avoid taking even more of the same hormones like plan B. Also the fact you were prescribed such hormones makes it less likely you need plan B – for example – had menopause.

      So the pharmacist can ask as a favor for personal info, but it is not necessary and not standard procedure. They have to give the drugs over after verifying the age. Once the age of 18 is established their right to withhold is gone, and either themselves or another pharmacist has to provide the drug.

      The FDA wanted it available on the shelf next to the condoms, but despite unanimous approval by the board, the board chairman, appointed by Bush, refused to approve it on moral/ethic grounds. After a Long fight, they compromised and made it OTC for 18+.

      The FDA did want Plan

    • simplekismet says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★: I am a pharmacy technician – the only “personal info” the pharmacy needs for that is “What other drugs are you taking?” and “Do you have any allergies?”, which is standard for getting ANY prescription filled. Law requires them to collect demographics (name, address, phone, DOB) for identification purposes. That’s all the pharmacy needs.

    • CyberSkull says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★: Pharmacists aren’t bound by the the Hippocratic Oath or anything else that doctors are. If they don’t want to sell you Plan B, then they shouldn’t work at Walgreens.

      Likewise, if you don’t want to sell cigarettes, don’t work at a tobacconist’s.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, the asking of ID is to collect information for the insurance companies (irrespective of if you have insurance). This allows all insurance companies to know your health status and refuse payment should you forget to disclose a medical condition.

  2. juri squared says:

    I still think that if your religion interferes with your job, you should find another job.

    • skipjack says:


      Don’t want to have kids..don’t have sex.

      • Preyfar says:

        @skipjack: Have your doctor prescribe a box of Kleenex instead?

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        @skipjack: Don’t want to be shunned… don’t say ridiculous, sexist things.

        • skipjack says:

          @speedwell: Figured it would be okay to make an asinine statement about getting a new job if religion interferes, but state the obvious about sex….and you are apparently a sexist.

          • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

            @skipjack: “The Obvious,” as you put it, only applies to women.

            • skipjack says:

              @speedwell: Huh. I wasn’t aware that humans were asexual. You learn something new everyday.

              • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

                @skipjack: The more you try not to understand, the dumber you’ll get (if possible in your case). Let’s try this again, slowly: Which sex has the babies? Which sex has to use the birth control (as things stand now)? Which sex are you telling not to have sex if they don’t want babies? Want more time?

                • skipjack says:

                  @speedwell: You really, really, really want to be offended today..don’t you?

                  It takes two people to get pregnant. I hold the man more responsible than the woman because in most cases, the man gets his and leaves.

                  But hey, if i’m more than happy to be a sexist. As a man, i think men should be held highly responsible for not being able to control themselves. As it is, that’s not the case.

                  I’m sure you’ll still find something to be offended about…since your looking so hard.

            • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

              @speedwell: How about, “don’t want to pay child support..don’t have sex.”

              How’s this for sexist: a woman decides she doesn’t want offspring so she has an abortion. A man decides he doesn’t want offspring so he’s out of luck. A woman exercises her right to choose, a man is just a deadbeat.

              It’s a sexist topic. If someone makes a comment that gets interpreted as sexism it’s clearly by inheritance.

            • mobiuschic42 says:

              @speedwell: ….and responsible men.

          • Corporate_guy says:

            @skipjack: You weren’t just stating the obvious about sex. You implied that rather than getting something like plan b, a person should choose not to have sex. And in a way attempted to defend a workers right to refuse to do their job while still getting paid.

            • skipjack says:

              @Corporate_guy: If you have sex, protected or unprotected…you might get pregnant. That’s biology 101. A worker has every right to refuse to do a part of their job based not only on religion, but moral grounds, or just wanting to be a jerk. Of course, walgreens has every right to fire the folks involved as well and I support that right just as adamantly.

              • Katxyz says:


                “A worker has every right to refuse to do a part of their job based not only on religion, but moral grounds, or just wanting to be a jerk.”

                A work has the right to refuse to do a part of their job simply to be a jerk? Yeah, of course they have that right, but those people are typically fired. I can’t tell if you’re trying to refute or support the original argument.

                • skipjack says:

                  @Katxyz: Perhaps you missed the part where i said walgreens has the right to fire said worker. If they want to take action against the employees, they can, and i support that.

                  • snoop-blog says:

                    @skipjack: Yeah buddy let me tell ya, I mean they have only been teaching abstinence since before I was in highschool (graduated in 01) and it sure has been a real winner! In fact condoms have become obsolete thanks to the words of wisdom “don’t want kids, don’t have sex”

                    Or are you living proof that abstinence is the real answer? LMFAO!!!

                    • i_love_life says:

                      @snoop-blog: I agree. I mean come on, I respect those that can remain abstinent (it’s gotta be super hard) but most of them were scared into it because of STDs.

                      As for the OP, I just went to Planned Parenthood and god my plan B pill there for free (it worked). I don’t think it was fair at all for them to interfere. It feels crappy enough just asking for the pill, and then they made her feel worse.

                • katiat325 says:

                  @Katxyz: in that same comment, he said that walgreens has every right to fire said employee and that he supports that.

              • katiat325 says:

                @skipjack: every job has a job description to go with it. there are parts people won’t like, but they do them anyway because they know they’ll get fired. in most jobs employees have a confidential line to call to complain about something or other. but to work as a pharmacists, they should have known this comes with the territory. are they also going to deny someone their AIDS meds because they have some notion that the person receiving them is gay/lesbian and so is shunned by god and doesn’t deserve the meds? even though it’s completely unfounded. But I do agree with you that walgreens should have every right to fire those employees, since employers have the right to fire ppl if they don’t do their jobs and end up discriminating on top of it.

              • Anonymous says:

                @skipjack: No they don’t unless it was not it the job description and a worker shouldn’t be doing that job if their religion/morals don’t allow it. Example, Jewish people don’t work in pork factories.

              • CaliforniaCajun says:

                @skipjack: “If you have sex, protected or unprotected…you might get pregnant.”

                I’m pretty sure that’s not the case, since I’m a guy, but I suppose that maybe I’m just doing the sex thing wrong. Please, enlighten me as to how, as a hetero male, I can get pregnant by having sex.

              • varro says:

                @skipjack: So does the pharmacist have the right to refuse STD treatment? AIDS medicines? Boner pills? Birth control pills? (Which Plan B essentially are – it’s just a different dose.) SSRIs if the pharmacist is a Scientologist who doesn’t believe in psychiatry?

              • pgaulrapp says:

                @skipjack: No, that’s wrong. I come to you for a service that you provide. If you are unwilling to provide me with that service, you should be fired. I don’t understand how this is even an issue with you people.

                • skipjack says:

                  @pgaulrapp: Which is why i said that walgreens has every right to fire the person.

                  How is it that you folks see one thing…then completely miss the other? Confusing indeed.

                  • SudhamayiKabong says:

                    @skipjack: While anti-discrimination laws say that you have the right to not be mistreated on the job because of your religion, they don’t say that you have the right to impose your religious beliefs on others. In fact I would imagine that the same laws that keep that person from being discriminated against also serve to ensure that he gives everyone else the same consideration, and that absolutely extends to customers. So no, you don’t have the right to refuse to do your job on religious or moral grounds. You do have the right to quit your job if you can’t hack it, but if you chose to stick around in spite of the moral quandary it poses, the only right you have is to do your job as described and to keep your holier than thou bullshit out of the workplace. Now you do have the ability to choose to act like a self-righteous asshole if you want, but not the right. And maybe it’s semantics, but I think that’s what people are taking issue with here. Yes you did say that Walgreens has the right to fire such people, but that takes a back seat to the suggestion you made that anyone has the right to refuse to do their job for religious or moral reasons, especially in a position in which those concepts don’t have much play, if any, and especially when they took the job in spite of any moral or religious concerns they may have had.

                  • jenl1625 says:

                    @skipjack: Because saying that a person can refuse service, but could be fired for refusing that service, doesn’t fix the problem of the original customer.

                    If I need Plan B *right now* (maybe because I was raped) and I go to the only 24-hour drugstore in a small and I’m told “nope, sorry, it’s against my religion”, then I have been subjected to more (emotional) pain. So the next day, I go to the business-hours pharmacy, and they also refuse me. They say to come back tomorrow, when there’s a different pharmacist on staff who will sell me the contraceptive.

                    So I finally get it after 3 trips and 48 hours. Plan B becomes less effective as time passes . . . . So now I get to wonder whether I got it in time. Even if I don’t wind up pregnant, I have suffered harm as a result of the actions of those pharmacists.

                    Is the notion that the pharmacies *may* fire those people if I complain loudly enough going to make the additional pain okay?

                    • skipjack says:

                      @jenl1625: So then back to my question…do we hold a gun to the head of the employee to force them to do something they don’t want to do?

                      You are in no more emotional pain if a pharmacist refuses you service, and if you were raped, you really should go to the hospital which will most likely have a pharmacy on hand that can fulfill your prescription. Sheesh.

                      But what if a meteor was speeding toward earth and i needed it after i had been raped by cannibalistic clown and i needed it before i went into hiding in the mountains because the government picked me as someone to repopulate the earth and we don’t need a child that might become a cannibalistic clown when the dust settles.

                • oneandone says:

                  @pgaulrapp: There’s sometimes a grey area that some pharmacies (and hospitals) have tried – if the patient/customer asks for something the provider feels contradicts their moral values, they can say, “I’m sorry, I can’t fulfill that request, but please talk to [my coworker]” and then the other employee fills the prescription, etc. If that can be done, I think it’s a decent compromise – but there are a lot of problems with it. Logistically – what if there’s not another employee at the time? What if everyone is super-busy? Morally – are you really sticking to your beliefs if you just walk away and let whatever it is happen through someone else’s actions?

                  I think it’s an option worth exploring in some pharmacies, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Walgreens tried it. Other chains (CVS, Eckerd and Walmart) will not let pharmacists refuse, but others don’t have set policies, and if you have a savvy manager and staff interested in compromise & customer service, it could work.

                  • juri squared says:

                    @oneandone: I find it interesting that one local Walgreens has a sign saying something about legal requirements and (I think) the same thing you mentioned – to ask for someone else if the first person refuses.

                    What’s weird to me is that this “legally required” sign is posted at one local Walgreens and not at another one I regularly visit. I wonder if the one with the posted sign has a pharmacist that won’t fill Plan B.

              • Corporate_guy says:

                @skipjack: Absolutely not. If you don’t dispense a drug based on your belief you are forcing your belief on me and thus violating my beliefs. The fact is if you take a job that may involve violating your beliefs that is your choice. The customer does not deserve to be discriminated against because someone else decided to take a job they can’t do. It’s a joke when people feel it’s OK for someone not to do their job because they claim their job is against their “protected” beliefs.

              • jenl1625 says:

                @skipjack: And taking birth control can help lessen the risk. Also very basic.
                And if there’s some problem with your normal method of birth control, Plan B helps reduce the risk of pregnancy. So it’s not a bad idea to keep it around. Very basic.

                So in what way is it “moral” for a pharmacy worker (tech, pharmacist, whatever) to refuse to sell me something that I’d like to have around in case I need it?

                The worker doesn’t know if I’m married, doesn’t know if getting pregnant could be physically dangerous, doesn’t know if I’ve been raped or molested – doesn’t know anything about me. But thinks that he or she can decide whether or not it’s appropriate for me to use birth control?

                • skipjack says:

                  @jenl1625: I didn’t say it was right or wrong. I personally don’t care if they sell it or don’t. I suppose we ought to put a gun to the head of our employees now to do what we think is morally correct?

              • cozynite says:

                @skipjack: I’m sorry, but that is just an asinine statement. If your job dictates that you are to give prescriptions to a customer, then that is what you do. You do not withhold an Rx because you are prejudiced against it. That is not in the job description.

                • skipjack says:

                  @cozynite: If that’s what you want to believe..personally i believe an employee has every right to refuse doing something based on their own belief system.

                  It’s always funny that the “choice” folk are into forcing others to do whatever it is they want. Gotta love the hypocrisy.

                  • SudhamayiKabong says:

                    @skipjack: Though it may get me disemvoweled, you’re coming off like an A class dick here. When you have a job to do with specific requirements like, oh I dunno, filling people’s perscriptions, then there is little room for personal choice in the matter. Your choice both begins and ends with deciding whether or not to take the job in the first place, and while you may have idealized the importance of choice in the workplace, I think it’s arguable that these pharmasists lost any tenuous right that they may have had to impose their morals on other people the moment they decided those morals weren’t all that important next to getting a steady paycheck. They absolutely knew what the job would entail, and decided to take it in spite of the likelihood that tough moral quandaries would rear their ugly heads sooner or later. Which to me means that when they do rear their ugly heads, they ought to perform their duties as outlined in their job description, and leave their holier-than-thou concerns back at home, where they have every right to impose them on people over whom they actually have a bit of authority. And besides, these pharmasists are not employed to play moral police to the population, they are simply there to fill perscriptions, and in cases like this one, to keep their unsolicited opinions about the matter to themselves. It’s not about hypocrisy, it’s about expecting them to do their jobs, which last I checked did not include making decisions for other people based entirely on their own religous or moral beliefs, especially when it leads to decisions which may have a harmful effect on the person that they are arrogantly making them for. It’s not a tough concept to grasp, dude. Not even remotely. So get a clue already, please?

                    • skipjack says:

                      @SudhamayiKabong: So here it is in a nut shell. Either be a pharmacist as SudhamayiKabong says do it or don’t be a pharmacist. It’s a dick comment to say “if your religion gets in the way of your job, get another job”.

                      I merely pointed out how asinine the statement was. I also support the idea that as an employee, if there is something in my job that goes against my convictions religious or not is within my right. I also like the idea that as an employer, if the person cannot fulfill their duties i can find someone else. I’m weird like that i suppose.

                    • SudhamayiKabong says:

                      @skipjack: I’m sort of confused at why you took issue with his statement in the first place to be honest. You suggested that we have the right to refuse to do our job as means to justify your earlier stance, but then you go on to acknowledge that an employer has the right to fire us if we do that in the very same post. So consider this; what end would exercising that so-called “right” serve, if not to ultimately free you of the job you found so morally reprehensible that you refused to do it, despite having agreed to do so when you accepted it? So then, what’s really all that objectionable about doing yourself and your job history a favor and refusing the job in the first place? Not much, right? Well that’s what jurijuri suggested. It’s a valid suggestion, all politically correct posturing aside.

                      I absolutely agree with him too. I feel that if a job conflicts with your moral or religious beliefs to the degree that it would affect your willingness to do it, then you probably shouldn’t take it. You have the right to take it for sure, and I don’t think anyone suggested otherwise, but I personally feel that if you do so in spite of being aware of the potential for moral conflicts to arise, then you ought to be able to do that job without imposing your world-view on other people. If you can’t keep from doing that, then you might want to reconsider your field of employment. In other words, if religion gets in the way of doing your job, you should probably find another one. Job that is. Not religion.

                      Of course if you don’t have a choice, then that’s another matter entirely. However, I’d like to think that people in that situation ought to be able to tolerate a little more in the absence of alternatives. After all, what’s more important during an economic downturn? Is it keeping your family fed, or forcing your self-righteous morality on people over whom you have no actual authority, and doing so at the risk of the only job opportunity likely to be available to you for some time? Right, I’d go with the option that allows me to keep food on the table too.

                      So yeah, doesn’t sound like such an actionable post after all, eh? That’s because it’s not. Really and truly. ;)

                    • skipjack says:

                      @SudhamayiKabong: The fact of the matter is that being a pharmacist isn’t a job where you are dispensing plan b all the time. If that is the one area that you are conflicted..you have a right to refuse to do that part of your job. You don’t like that…fine by me.

                      It’s ludicrous to tell someone…religion gets in the way of your job..find another. In fact..that is whats wrong with our culture as it is. Don’t like your wife..get a new one. Didn’t know that sex leads to pregnancy..kill the child. Didn’t like “x” well, go get “y” to satisfy that empty space you are trying to fill.

                      All this is moot however because as I’ve said..i don’t care if they sell it or not. I wouldn’t hesitate to fill the prescription my self. I do however take issue with how many folks here seem to think that an employee doesn’t have rights within the scope of their job.

                    • Corporate_guy says:

                      @skipjack: That comment was not asinine. You are being asinine. You seem to think it’s OK to harm someone else based on your religious beliefs. What if, because of your refusal to dispense a drug, someone has to get an abortion or go through a pregnancy. Are you prepared to pay for all the medical expenses out of your own pocket, pay the person’s salary while they are off work, and be charged for murder if mother dies from an abortion or during child birth? The conductor of a train can’t just jump ship while the train is moving. He has to stop the train or finish up the shift before he can refuse to do further work or quit. Or he will be charged criminally for endangering other people’s lives. If someone brings you a prescription that is time sensitive, you are pretty much stuck filling it if the drug is available. And being a pharmacist, you understand completely what the consequences of refusing to give out the medication is.

                    • skipjack says:

                      @Corporate_guy: Harm them? You went to the extreme pretty quick didn’t you.

                      There is a difference in being a pharmacist and a train conductor. You realize that of course, but apparently you like to think apples are oranges. Go you.

                      How does someone “have” to go through a pregnancy? Did they not know that sex can and often does lead to pregnancy? I would have thought that to be common sense…guess i was wrong.

                    • juri squared says:

                      @skipjack: Funny, an awful lot of people seem to agree with me, so it’s not completely without merit.

                      So, do you think an ultra-vegan PETA protestor should be allowed to work at McDonalds while refusing to serve meat?

                    • FatalisticDread says:

                      @jurijuri: IF an “ultra-vegan PETA protester” got a job at McDonalds and refused to serve meat, they would lose their job. That is skipjack’s point. They do not have to do what their job entails, but they run the risk of losing their job if they decide to stick to their principles. Nothing anywhere says that you MUST do what your job requires you to do…but, again, you will not have that job for long if you do not.

                      In this specific case, the pharmacist did not HAVE to perform their duties…but they also do not get to expect to have that job for long if they exercise that right. I agree with those saying that the pharmacist shouldn’t have accepted a job that might have conflicts with their personal beliefs, but to say that the pharmacist HAD TO provide Plan B is false. Perhaps Walgreens HAS TO provide it upon request, but the pharmacist doesn’t. As a representative of Walgreens, it is in the pharmacist’s best interest to follow company policy, but, yes again, nothing is in place to force them to comply with company policy other than fear of termination.

                    • batsy says:

                      @FatalisticDread: I don’t understand how the pharmacist could possibly lose their job for refusing to supply Plan B if the store (and law, too, I think?) is saying that they CAN refuse to supply it.

                      There is, however, no law or store policy that says a vegan can refuse to serve meat at McDonald’s. It’s a double standard, which was jurijuri’s point.

                    • skipjack says:

                      @batsy: A law, simply by being in existence, creates a double standard.

                      I’ll let you think on that a while.

                    • batsy says:

                      @skipjack: Yes, except that we are talking about THIS SPECIFIC SITUATION.

                      Why don’t you contribute to the discussion instead of arguing insignificant points in an attempt to win some credibility back, because it’s not working.

                    • skipjack says:

                      @batsy: I didn’t know that I was supposed to be commenting in order to gain credibility in your short sighted eyes. I’ll fix that error immediately.

                      1) It’s okay to say “religion gets in the way of your job, get another job”
                      2) It’s blasphemy to then say “if you don’t want kids, don’t have sex”

                      They both follow the same logical vein.

                      I’m still amazed that there are so few on what is a consistently liberal blog that do not support worker rights.

                      Oh..and in relation to perceived intraweb comment credibility, i’ll somewhat quote what i heard on the boob-tube the other night. “where did i put that rats ass that i could give”.

                    • batsy says:

                      @skipjack: It was merely my observation upon reading your seemingly insignificant arguments. However, the argument is not so insignificant once you explain it logically, like you should have done five posts ago.

                      I agree that on the surface, yes, those statements appear to be of the same vein. But the difference between them is that a job is chosen, whereas sex is an innate instinct that none of us (well, most of us) do not escape. Sex is a part of life, like crossing the street, which is what I was trying to convey. It cannot simply be pushed aside. Severe psychological problems can arise when something like sex is suppressed.

                      However, when you choose your profession, you should probably consider whether your religion (or anything else) will allow you to adequately do your job. Sure, I’d love to be an actor, but I suck at acting. Do I still get to make movies just ‘cus I want to? No. It is not a worker’s “right” to continue in their profession when they cannot adequately do their job. Unions protect workers that work hard and are good at what they do. If a company fires a worker because they do sub-par work, that is not something a Union would try to overturn.

                    • skipjack says:

                      @jurijuri: Just so i get this straight. As long as “an awful lot of people” agree with you…that makes your point correct? You realize just how dumb that line of reasoning is…don’t you?

                      If an ultra-vegan PETA protester chooses to work at mcdonalds, they have every right not to serve meat. Mcdonalds also has a right to not hire the person, or fire the person if they cannot do their job.

                      What’s hard to understand about this?

                  • Anonymous says:


                    A choice is a choice but whether it’s based on morals or ethics is a different question as they are two different things. Denying someone a prescription because it’s going to mess them up is different from denying someone a prescription because you FEEL it will mess them up. Denying someone a prescription based on an actual negative reaction that will statistically occur (5% chance of death or similar) is just not the same as “my beliefs won’t allow me to give you something because they will make me feel bad or guilty about my actions because I’ll be breaking a personal moral code”.

          • TouchMyMonkey says:

            @skipjack: Not a sexist; just a jerk.

        • EyeHeartPie says:

          @speedwell: Just out of curiosity, how is what he said sexist? Not trying to start a fight or anything. I am honestly curious.

      • AshleyKeen says:

        @skipjack: That would be called “Plan A”.

      • TouchMyMonkey says:

        @skipjack: Ds tht incld btng yr mt t gy ntrnt pr0n n yr mm’s bsmnt?

        • skipjack says:

          @HurtsSoGood: I have my own basement thank you very much. It’s often cold though and not very inhabitable. I’m sure i could setup a machine down there so you can log onto your WOW account and pretend to be clever in a different location.

      • battra92 says:

        @skipjack: What and take responsibility?

      • snoop-blog says:

        Don’t want to have kids, Don’t get raped!

        • nicemarmot617 says:

          @snoop-blog: Hahaha, that’s exactly what I was thinking with all this “abstinence is the only sure way NOT to get pregnant” blah blah blah…yeah, unless you get raped! Gee whiz I guess that abstinence thing didn’t work so good!

          • jodark says:

            @nicemarmot617: First rape ends in pregnancy like 1% or less times or something like that.

            Second, its not rape if you yell “SURPRIZE!!” first. C’mon people lrn2ntrnt.

            • snoop-blog says:

              @jodark: “First rape ends in pregnancy like 1% or less times or something like that.”

              Okay forgive me for not want statistics on a figure that has “or something like that” attached to it.

              I’m not saying that the number is incredibly low but just that it seems you don’t have any real evidence to support you opinion. Point of the “don’t get raped” comment was to be equally rediculous to the “don’t want kids, don’t have sex post”.

            • jenl1625 says:

              @jodark: And little considerations like wanting some reassurance that you won’t be one of those women who winds up pregnant should be tossed out the window?

              What about wanting to take some precautions to prevent the possible pregnancy, so you aren’t faced with a decision of whether to abort?

        • batsy says:

          @snoop-blog: That’s Sarah Palin’s motto.

      • katiat325 says:

        @skipjack: I have to say, that on a blog like this it’s really funny that people take your comment seriously.

      • batsy says:


        Don’t want to get run over by a bus…don’t cross the street. Don’t want to die in an airplane crash…don’t fly. Don’t want to get dumped….don’t date.

    • katiat325 says:

      @jurijuri: I second that. I would think that pharmacists knew what they were getting themselves into before they began their studies.

    • snoop-blog says:

      @jurijuri: If sexual urges were as easy to control as you make it sound than there would never be any rapists.

      • starbreiz says:

        @snoop-blog: No offense, but most rapes are about control, not sex.

      • TemporaryError says:


        According to most literature and studies, rape isn’t so much about sex/sexual urges as it is about power and humiliation over another person. However, I believe that pedophilia and other sex crimes ARE about sex. But not (most) rape.

    • rainbowsandkittens says:

      @jurijuri: I agree with you totally. Sorry, but my Jewish husband wouldn’t go work at a deli and then refuse to serve ham. Religious or not, it is not up to me or the guy down the street to impose my beliefs and judge someone else’s lifestyle.

      This IS a sexist issue because men are not subjected to a 1 hour waiting period with mandatory literature to buy condoms or spermicide. Plan B, while hormonal, is just another over the counter way of preventing implantation. I don’t have the same hardware, so I need to use a different method. Why discriminate? Why make it easier for men to access contraceptives than women? After all, pro choice or anti choice, it’s everyone’s goal to lower the number of abortions. Pharmacists are not god and they are not doctors. A woman could have a medical condition that pregnancy could worsen… and frankly, as a currently (and very happily, although sore) pregnant women, I am tired of the potential for life having more rights than me, an actual living human being. In fact, I found it very interesting to learn that the whole “life begins at conception” thing was a very, very recent development in our societal discussion. Up until the 1900s, a fetus was not considered to have rights until it was “quick with life” aka, started to detectably kick around 6 months gestation, or, until it was actually born. More than a few visibly pregnant female criminals were executed by courts in far more god-fearing times without being granted a stay to deliver the child.

      Sorry for the TMI, but as a pregnant lady, I have never been more adamant about women’s reproductive rights than I am now. The responsible thing to do is support everyone who is making smart decisions about reproduction even if it doesn’t fit some people’s particular worldview, not get all judgey and scare tacticy. /End of didactic rant :)

    • CMU_Bueller says:

      @jurijuri: Hear, hear. This country would be better if people like you were in charge. Just the other day I had a muslim cashier ask me to scan my own pork. And, when I was in Vegas, I was denied a taxi ride by a driver because I was carrying a case of beer. Luckily there’s at least 10 taxi’s outside every hotel and another driver was more than willing to take my money. If you can’t perform your job because of religion, you should lose it.

    • Anonymous says:

      @jurijuri: It isn’t a question of whether the religion interferes with a job, but of whether one believes this to be an enethical or immoral application of the job. For example, would you tell a doctor opposed to euthenasia that he should not be a doctor because of his belief? Probably not. We’d tell him not to perform euthenasia procedures. Same goes for pharmacists.

      • jenl1625 says:

        @GardnerIshed: I would advise a doctor who was opposed to chemo on religious grounds that (s)he probably shouldn’t be an oncologist…. Sure, not every patient will need chemo, but a lot of them will.

        If you have a religious objection to the use of contraceptives, why go into a profession where people will come to you with prescriptions for contraceptives on a regular basis?

    • varro says:

      @jurijuri: Yep. Agree 100%.

      What’s next – Scientologists refusing to fill prescriptions for Zoloft because mental illness is caused by body thetans? Christian Scientists refusing to fill any prescriptions?

      What is this, the United States or Iran? If you want to enforce your crabbed religious beliefs over religion-neutral commerce, then quit your job and go become a snake handler.

    • Mary Marsala with Fries says:

      @jurijuri: AMEN, brother! ;)

  3. IrvCrapper says:

    Why not post the phone number of the Walgreens. We could blast the living shit out of these Christers!

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      @IrvCrapper: Nice try. Atheists have better morals than that. Plus most are against guns. Don’t attempt to make it look like we’re violent criminals, like religious fundamentalists are, or we’ll… we’ll… ARGUE you to death. So there.

      • ThunderSaid says:

        @speedwell: HA HA! This has got to be the first time I’ve seen “No true Scotsman” applied to atheism. Priceless!

        • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

          @ThunderSaid: I suppose your gloat would be amusing if it was defensible. How many atheists blow up buldings in the name of Godless, eh?

          • 4ster says:


            Oh, yeah. Thankfully, Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot didn’t go around blowing up buildings. I guess they were too tied up in mass starvation and genocide.

            Really, why bother acknowledging the complexities of human nature when it’s easier to be bigot and paint all theists with the same brush, while incorrectly assuming that atheists somehow exist on some preternatural moral plane.

    • mythago says:

      @IrvCrapper: That will just make them feel persecutedly righteous. Complain to Walgreens corporate.

    • Phydeaux says:

      @IrvCrapper: The Consumerist is not your personal army.

      You’d think we were on 4Chan or something.

  4. Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★ says:

    Also, can a guy get Plan B? B/c then wouldn’t that solve a lot of problems with glaring looks? Nothing is more disarming to a disapproving stare than a prideful “Yeah, I got some” smirk. Even better if you try to make the Pharma give you a high five.

    • oneandone says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★: Technically, a guy could (as long as he is over EC). He would probably get a lot of questions.

      • oneandone says:

        @oneandone: bad typo. I meant as long as he is over 18. oops.

      • Anonymous says:

        @oneandone: Yes, I am a guy, purchased at a Walgreens in Phoenix AZ for my wife last yr. the Pharmacist was very nice, all he did was ask to see my ID; and I got it; paid with cash.

      • jscott73 says:

        @oneandone: No a guy can’t, I tried a couple weeks ago, for my wife of 7 years lest the judgements begin.

        The pharmacists was very nice and actually had the pack in her hands but then said I needed to have my wife’s ID with me or my wife could even fax it over to her.

        In the end it turned out to be easier for my wife to go pick it up herself, at a different place but with a very nice pharmacist as well. No issues at all, we do live in Southern California so I wasn’t really expecting any issue though.

        • Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★ says:

          @jscott73: Should have hit him with a pict of the pregnant “man” who has been in the news lately. She’s considered a man even though he kept his “lady” bits. Then explained what he was doing was gender profiling and sexism. Then ask what about you made him think you were a guy? Finally, record all of this and put his stammering on the YouTubes. :)

        • Tmoney02 says:

          @jscott73: Your pharmacist was wrong. Anyone over the age of 18 can buy it.

          Plan B – Dispensing Plan B information for pharmacists

          • maztec says:

            @Tmoney02: You’re wrong, it entirely depends on the state. Some states have expressed a possibly legitimate concern that men might buy it and then dope a lady with it in order to cause an abortion.

            • katiat325 says:

              @maztec: Plan B isn’t the freaking abortion pill!!! When will ppl get that through their heads? It’s usually only effective in the first 72hrs (maybe a few days though) but to get a girl who’s already a few weeks pregnant, it won’t do squat! It’s not a legitimate concern. But there is an ABORTION pill, totally different, that can do the job. A pharmacist would have to be a complete idiot to think the 2 are the same thing with the same results.

            • Tmoney02 says:

              @maztec: Would you care to provide a single state with laws against the sale to males?

              The manufacturer of plan B doesn’t know of/mention any and I couldn’t find any. While there has been concern about what you mentioned as far as I know no measures have been passed preventing a male from buying plan B.

            • bwcbwc says:

              @maztec: Didn’t the Bush administration pass an executive reg in the FDA that the states are not allowed to modify federal regulations for drug distribution? This was back when buying Canadian drugs was all the rage, until they started turning out to be Indian, Egyptian and other country’s drugs. Some states were “legalizing” the importation of Canadian drugs, and the administration cracked down on it. I don’t believe the states are allowed to make any restrictions on distribution of a drug regulated by the FDA beyond what the federal government already provides.

            • ageekymom says:

              @maztec: Plan B doesn’t cause abortion, it prevents it.

          • nerdychaz says:

            @Tmoney02: I am unsure of the law, but I think if the person who is buying it is Male, without a really good reason, he should at least be under some kind of suspicion. Slippery slope this to child molesters who buy it to cover their a$$ and force feed it to a 10 year old girl


            But then to the other side of the argument, it is technically an OTC medication, so anybody should be able to get it. But, a man buying it is still suspicious to me.

            • Tmoney02 says:

              @nerdychaz: Just to throw it out there – two of you have put up the argument that it shouldn’t be sold to males because an extremely small percentage might be rapists trying to keep their victims from becoming pregnant.

              Looking at this logically – isn’t a good thing the women raped wont become pregnant by the rapist? Not being able to buy plan B wont prevent the rape, and it wont ruin any evidence, and I’m sure as hell that the women herself would want to get plan B/not get pregnant, so even in the extreme case presented why not sell to rapists? It wouldn’t change anything other then preventing the women from becoming pregnant with the rapist’s child.

            • johnva says:

              @nerdychaz: That is a really stupid argument. Seriously, it’s a good thing the people who make the laws aren’t as foolish as you.

              • johnva says:

                @johnva: That sounds bad – I didn’t mean to make it quite such a personal insult. But seriously? You actually think that a guy buying contraception means he should be under suspicion as a potential child molester? You know, don’t you, that a male is involved in heterosexual sex, right? And that some males help their partners out by picking up prescriptions for them? It seems insane to me to jump straight to the hysterical “rapist” conclusion. By that logic, a man buying condoms should be under suspicion as a rapist, because he could be using them to prevent pregnancy in his victim.

                • Tmoney02 says:

                  @johnva: Thank you for bringing this point across. I played out their scenario but just couldn’t get my head wrapped around how someone would be so suspicious of men who want to be responsible.

                  I think everyone should have a box of plan B available “just in case”. Especially if you have multiple partners/not committed relationship. Its a lot cheaper than a Baby, and certainly makes for a less nail biting next day for both parties.

              • Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

                @johnva: Debate the point, don’t insult the poster.

                Let’s keep it civil, folks – I know this is a topic that invites inflammatory rhetoric, but remember the rules when you post.

        • oneandone says:

          @jscott73: Sorry to hear you got hassled. Male friends of mine have been successful purchasing Plan B in different parts of PA, and I couldn’t find any concrete restrictions when I looked it up about a year ago. Glad to hear you eventually got what you were looking for! I wish there was less headache involved in all of this.

    • undertakernv says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★: I’ve gotten it for my girlfriend. They hassled me a lot about it but they eventually gave it to me. I looked online and saw what they did was illegal so I called their corporate number. Next thing I know, the pharmacist was fired.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have also purchased it twice in TX at walgreens for my girlfriend. All they asked me for was my ID.

    • RussTheConsumerist says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★:

      No, a guy can’t by Plan B. Only a woman over 18 can.

    • jono_0101 says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★: Funny story, I used to work at a Walgreen’s, and this was a few years ago when places were just starting to carry Plan B. A guy, probably late 20’s walks up to the pharmacy counter, asks if they are selling it, THEN proceeds to ask the pharmacy tech on a date. Everyone thought he might have been getting a little ahead of himself.

  5. Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

    Sounds like the same amount of hassle I go through to buy Sudafed.

    Frankly, from their tone, it sounds like they had an axe to grind before walking in the door (preemptive defensiveness?). Just my sense of the tone here.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      @The Name’s Ash78, Housewares: So what if they did have a chip on their shoulder? It wasn’t the job of the pharmacist to knock it off.

    • JohnDeere says:

      @The Name’s Ash78, Housewares: i agree. but thats the world we live in today. i dont really go anywhere nowadays without thinking im gonna get screwed or inconvenienced in some form or another.

    • AshleyKeen says:

      @The Name’s Ash78, Housewares: My thoughts exactly. I’ve had my Driver’s license number taken for everything from a box of sudafed to a bottle of wine.

      • bwcbwc says:

        @AshleyKeen: And the “waiting period” is pretty much standard for anything the pharmacist has to get from behind the counter at a Walgreens. In fact if you turn in a prescription, they’ll usually say “it’ll be ready in an hour or so” and then it won’t be ready anyway. So there’s at least a potentially plausible explanation for the wait. But the adoption literature? That sounds out of line, since the states aren’t allowed to regulate meds beyond what the FDA does.

        • Tmoney02 says:

          @bwcbwc: Anyone who has had to get plan B can tell you there is no excuse for a wait.

          As soon as you say you need plan B they need to get the box that plan B comes in, check your ID, and they are done. Every minute wasted decreases the effectiveness of the medication, thus it should take priority over everything else and it only takes 5 seconds to do.

        • mythago says:

          @bwcbwc: IT IS NOT A PRESCRIPTION DRUG. How many times must this be repeated before people quit making excuses for this Walgreens?

        • crazylady says:

          @bwcbwc: Repeat after me: not a prescription drug for people over 18. Not a prescription drug for people over 18.

          While I have waited hours if not days to get other prescriptions verified then filled, especially for those pesky scheduled drugs, I have *never* been subject to a “waiting period” as such for any OTC drugs, including Plan B and anything containing pseudoephedrine (like sudafed). There is no need for a waiting period. Honestly. :|

        • jenl1625 says:

          @bwcbwc: No, there’s not an explanation for the wait – for a prescription, the pharmacist has to do a bunch of work.

          For Plan B, all they have to do is hand you the box. They don’t put a prescription label on it. It should be LESS trouble than buying Sudafed, because they have to gather information for the registry (to track who’s buying too much per day/week/month) when you buy Sudafed.

          And a 1-hour wait is particularly inexcusable and unjustifiable when you consider that Plan B is less likely to be effective when taken later. (It’s best to simply have it available already in case you need it, but if you are out of town or something and you need it, then you want to be able to get it as quickly as possible.)

    • muddgirl says:

      @The Name’s Ash78, Housewares: When you bought a box of Sudafed, they gave you a pamphlet on the option of just coexisting with your virus/allergies?

      • JiminyChristmas says:

        @muddgirl: The basic ingredient in many cold medicines, pseudoephedrine, is a key methamphetamine component. Until a few years ago, you could go to the drug store, buy as much Sudafed as you could carry and make your merry way back to your meth lab.

        I’m sure the law varies in other states though. Where I live, you have to show ID and provide a signature at the pharmacy counter and you can’t buy more than 3 or 4 packages at a time.

        • Jamie Sommers says:

          @JiminyChristmas: I think you’re missing muddgirl‘s point. The problem isn’t simply the fact that the pharmacist asked for ID; it’s that he asking for ID and giving a pamphlet, which shows he was trying to make a religious/moral point by putting up unnecessary barriers to a legitimate pharmaceutical request.

        • ageekymom says:

          @JiminyChristmas: I think you may have missed muddgirl’s point. I believe she was referring to the part about the 1-hour wait to get the OTC drug and the pamphlet provided for reading material during the wait.

      • floraposte says:

        @muddgirl: Or finding it a loving home in a place that desperately wanted and couldn’t have snot of its own.

    • mythago says:

      @The Name’s Ash78, Housewares: Your pharmacy makes you wait an hour to buy Sudafed, asks if you have insurance for it and then they hand you pamphlets on adoption? Somehow I don’t think so.

      • grumpygirl says:

        @mythago: Close enough. In the state where I live (Oregon), you need a prescription to get anything with pseudoephedrine in it. Even though they just slap a label on the box, I’m told to come back in an hour and the prescription will be “filled”.

    • Mary Marsala with Fries says:

      @The Name’s Ash78, Housewares: Ah yes, the ol’ “sense of the tone” method for blaming the victim…here, have a pamphlet on ways to blame the victim that offend me less!

  6. katiat325 says:

    unfortunately I think it’s legal, although I’m not 100% sure on that. It may soon get a lot harder too, since Bush is trying to push another regulation through the dept. of health (Planned Parenthood was concerned enough to alert anyone they could about it and it may still be on their site.) Next time, either tell them to refuse it outright and go somewhere else, or demand it up front without hassles because the law does not require additional reading material or an hour waiting period for it.

  7. TakingItSeriously is a Technopile says:

    Given that it’s over the counter it should be handled with no more fuss than any other over the counter medication. If you live in a state that restricts Pseudo-Ephedrine to similar requirements (Show ID and no more than 1 per week/month) then this should have been a non-issue. A short lecture regarding any risks (IF THAT), and thank you for coming.

    • crazylady says:

      @TakingItSeriously: pseudoephedrine purchase restrictions are nowhere near as restrictive as plan b. plan b = purchaser must be over 18, all else must require prescription. that is it. I can buy 10 at one time every day, or I could just get one for when I need it.

      For what it’s worth, I did buy something containing pseudoephedrine a few months ago (in CA), and I was asked for ID and that ID swiped and number recorded. I’ve also purchased Plan B (you never know when keeping it around the house can be useful) and the pharmacist just asked for ID to verify I was over 18, then gladly finished up my purchase, even cut short the speech about risks and how I shouldn’t be relying on Plan B when I told her it was cause I wanted it as backup in case the ring, a condom, and withdrawal still gives me a nagging feeling. None of this inane hassle. I’m very glad to be living in a state where all my options are available to me without a middleman pissing me off for the stupidest reasons.

  8. dizzie386 says:

    I live in Oxford, MS and shop at that Walgreen’s all the time (I even know someone who used to work in the Pharmacy dept) and it doesn’t surprise me AT ALL about this. These are the same people who gave me the “stink eye” for wanting the bigger size of Sudafed.

    • LucyTuzy says:

      @dizzie386: omg, my sinuses have been shite ever since the government started cracking down on decongestants. i used to be able to buy the huge boxes at costco. and now they don’t even MAKE my drixoral. what are allergy sufferers supposed to do?

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        @LucyTuzy: They don’t make Drixoral anymore? Crap.

        If you have a doctor, next time you go, get a prescription for the old kind of Sudafed, sign up for the four-dollar Wal-Mart deal (or an equivalent deal at your drug store or grocery store), and go from there. Since you will have a prescription, you can get enough for a month without having to beg the snotty pharmacy clerk.

      • dialing_wand says:

        @LucyTuzy: Come to Canada once in a while. The Drixoral gettin’ is good.

      • mythago says:

        @LucyTuzy: Mucinex. It’s sold as a chest decongestant but it actually dries out your entire skull. Great stuff when you’re sick.

    • PølάrβǽЯ says:

      @dizzie386: “These are the same people who gave me the “stink eye” for wanting the bigger size of Sudafed. “

      When I go to buy Sudafed, I’m usually sick as a dog and look like death warmed over. If they give me a strange look, I suck up my snot, cough, and tell them “Look man, I’m way to sick to go home and cook this crap up.”

      • dizzie386 says:

        @aaron8301: It doesn’t matter there. I looked like hell the last time I went, I sounded worse… Since that time, I’ve gone to Kroger for anything I need from a pharmacist.

        • Anonymous says:

          You guys live in a state known for its meth production, what do you expect? Seriously, the behind-the-counter nature of sudafed is due to both federal and state legislation. It’s like that in many states now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey I live in Oxford too. Ever try buying condoms or lubes from Kroger? They keep it locked up and you have to ask them to unlock them from a glass case.

  9. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Plan B is not actually a spermicide. It isn’t at all an abortion pill, either. Here is a paper explaining the scientific facts, for those who are interested:

    • backbroken says:

      @speedwell: Scientific facts? Dear god man (er woman?)! This is America. We don’t need no stinking scientific facts.

    • ludwigk says:

      @speedwell: Summary: The theory is that Plan B interferes with development of the follicle, and corpus luteum, which is necessary for maintaining a pregnancy and ovulation, resulting in anovulation (no egg is released). The result is that your reproductive system behaves like it is infertile.

    • Meshuggina says:

      @speedwell: Plan B’s classification as an abortion depends on what you consider an abortion actually is. If you believe that an abortion occurs only after a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall, than it wouldn’t be an abortion. However, if you classify an abortion as something that prevents a fertilized egg from coming to full-term, than it is an abortion.

      • Tmoney02 says:

        @Meshuggina: well to complicate matters, there is no definitive scientific evidence either way on the issue of birth control/plan B and the prevention of the egg from implanting. Some studies say that the lining could be effected, thus preventing implantation, while others say there is no effect.

        So as far as we know plan B/Birth control could not do anything once a egg is fertilized. Also Both plan B and Birth control work mainly through the prevention of ovulation.

      • crashfrog says:

        @Meshuggina: Actually it doesn’t depend on that at all, because Plan B doesn’t actually do anything to prevent implantation.

        It delays ovulation. That’s all it does. That’s it’s sole contraceptive effect. As a result it can’t possibly be an “abortion pill” regardless of how you classify it.

      • Difdi says:

        @Meshuggina: If Plan B is an abortion, then so are half the contraceptives out there.

  10. katiat325 says:

    and yes, they could get “uppety” when trying to buy other contraceptives if they feel it goes against their moral beliefs. Sometimes, it’s just better to buy online through Canada or get your girl on the shot. If you attend the university, you should be able to access the school health center with your school-provided insurance. Plan B is emergency contraceptive, so all you’d need to do is go to their pharmacy. And if you’re not in the university, still ask them about whether or not you are allowed to get that pill or other services from them, wouldn’t hurt.

    • floraposte says:

      @katiat325: Obviously they can; the question is are they permitted to. The right to decline to participate in acts you find immoral is not the same thing as the right to interfere via delaying tactics with a customer’s purchase. There have been policies to establish the first, but not the second.

    • Parting says:

      @katiat325: be careful, there is a lot of fake ”Canadian” pharmacies, located in 3rd world countries. Get as much info as possible, so you don’t get fake meds.

    • PixiePerson says:

      @katiat325: The shot has a lot of side effects (more so than other forms of BC).

  11. bonzombiekitty says:

    I don’t think Plan B is classified as a spermicide. It prevents fertilization and possibly implantation, but it doesn’t kill sperm.

    • bonzombiekitty says:

      @bonzombiekitty: According to wikipedia, Plan B prevents ovulation and there’s some doubt over whether or not it prevents implantation.

      • kerry says:

        @bonzombiekitty: Because Plan B is just a very large dose of regular birth control pills, it does all the same things a birth control pill does to prevent pregnancy. Mostly, it prevents ovulation if it hasn’t happened, it makes the uterus unfriendly to a fertilized egg by slowing endometrial tissue production, it makes the cervical mucous unfriendly to sperm and, finally, makes the opening of the cervix smaller which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Plan B is pretty much just a double dose of hormonal based birth control pills. I don’t understand out someone who has an education in pharmaceuticals could be against it on a moral grounds issue if they sell other forms of birth control.

  13. xip says:

    Last I checked, Plan B isn’t a spermicidal agent but also can’t really be called an abortion pill unless you really stretch it. From what I read, it usually just prevents ovulation. However, if ovulation has already taken plan and an embryo happens to form, it will prevent the embryo from successfully attaching to the wall of the uterus. If that happens, I guess some people could consider it “abortion,” but to hell with them… ;)

    Anyway, the Walgreens employee’s response sounds stupid. Being a guy, I have never had to buy EC. However, my friend got some one time… she got it in a small, conservative town and had no trouble at all. I don’t think the issue is with the pharmacy company. It’s with the idiots who work there. I would contact Walgreen corporation and raise some hell.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      @xip: If you’re not sure about what plan B does, don’t guess. I’ve linked to the exact study above.

    • ludwigk says:

      @xip: According to the study, which I’m wondering if speedwell even read, Plan B does not affect endometrium morphology, meaning it should not affect implantation of the embryo to the uterine wall:

      These results suggest that postovulatory contraceptive efficacy of LNG [Plan B] may not involve alterations in the mechanisms associated with endometrial receptivity.

      In addition, this study does not support an anti-
      implantation contraceptive effect of LNG in EC (emergency contraception).

  14. PrincessSparkle says:

    Articles like this make me so glad I live in a really liberal area. After a situation where you feel the need to buy plan B the last thing you need is a pharmacy tech giving you grief. I’d recommend anyone that isn’t on a solid birth control routine keep one of these on hand. A ridiculous 1 hour waiting period isn’t nearly as stressful when you aren’t watching the clock for effectiveness.

    • DownfieldComa says:

      @PrincessSparkle: Honestly, it really just depends on the person. I live in a very conservative area, but I know its easy to go into the Walgreens here and get the Plan B, but you go into the same place with another person working it, you can barely buy a decongestant w/o calling the manager. Why? Because the person is a lazy douchebag.

      The story here is quite interesting, obviously written by either a transplanted northerner who hated the state before they ever placed a foot there, or someone who grew up there, but had delusions of grandeur that they were better than everyone else, and in turn acted that way.

  15. Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

    Next time, go to a compounding shop and ask for “Cipro or Zithromax, the BABY dose, if you know what I’m sayin'”

  16. Brazell says:

    Uhh… Plan B is _not_ a spermicidal agent. Plan B contains only progestin and levonorgestrel which are not spermicides, they don’t have any effect on sperm, only on the release of an egg from the ovaries and the attachment of a fertilized egg to the womb. Now, I’m not going to get into the “abortaficient” debate because I don’t care what some moralist may believe over me, but calling Plan B “a type of spermicide” or a “spermicidal agent” makes no sense… unless there is some definition of “killing sperm” that I don’t understand.

    As for the questions about this, different stores and states have different policies for administering drugs. Not all OTC drugs are treated the same, and the FDA classifies Plan B differently from something like Advil, or other OTC by-request drugs. The FDA has published their findings on several occassions on their website.

  17. Tmoney02 says:

    “The pharmacist then went about getting the pill, but they also seem to have a policy, a lá abortion clinics, of forcing a waiting period of an hour and giving adoption literature to the person requesting the contraceptive.”

    I would be curious to know if this is a state law. It certianly isnt walgreens policy. If it is not state law and your gf ends up pregnant you could sue walgreens for wasting a valuable hour of time – (plan B becomes less effective every minute you wait).

    Heck you probably could sue just for the potential danger/risk the pharmacist put on your GF even if she doesn’t end up pregnant.

    “They also insisted on writing down her driver’s license number.”

    This is not necessary and is a violation of privacy.

    Especially if you start seeing religious or adoption/abstinence literature in your mail or otherwise harassed.

    • Anonymous says:

      It absolutely isn’t state law. However, MS does have one of the most comprehensive refusal clauses on books, that allows any provider to refrain from giving you contraceptives, Plan B, etc. that goes against his/her conscience. In most large chains, SOMEone has to be on hand to sell it to you, though, since it’s OTC.

      • Tmoney02 says:

        @LillianDemigod: Well then this certainly needs to be at least reported to the State and Walgreens, as this pharmacist was out of line. If no disciplinary action is taken then I would say a lawsuit is necessary, as such actions should not be allowed/tolerated.

      • Paladin_11 says:

        @LillianDemigod: I bet it’s not against their conscience if it’s an 18 year old black girl…

    • boston515 says:

      @Tmoney02: I’ve had to purchase Plan B twice in here in Savannah, GA. Once at Kroger on Mall Blvd, another time at Target on Victory DR. We never really had a problem, but both pharmacies required photo id and recorded it in the computer. Both also had me estimate the last time I used Plan B.

  18. snoop-blog says:

    I’m not even going to touch this topic with a 10 ft pole.

  19. katiat325 says:

    and on a personal note, I really do suggest her getting the Depo shot — lasts for 3 months, and is about 99% safe(better than condoms, and cheaper than getting Plan B each time.) It ends up being cheaper to get that done once every 3 months than get BC pills from a pharmacy without having insurance. Check out any planned parenthood sites in the state — not all are abortion clinics — as well as call hospitals/clinics in the area to get quotes and advice on available services.

    • serreca says:

      @katiat325: The shot is not for everyone. I have several friends who had a really bad time with it. It worked while they were on it, but once they tried to go off it, it really screwed up their cycles. A couple of them are _still_ messed up.

      • katylostherart says:

        @serreca: and i’d recommend a nonhormonal iud. it’s the most effective form of birth control pill that doesn’t include screwing up your body chemistry.

        i don’t know anyone who spent more than a couple months on the pill/shot without some serious issues when they got off it.

        • Zulujines says:

          @katylostherart: Yeah, the shot was a nightmare for me. It’s been two years since I’m off it and my body is still not back to normal. Definitely wouldn’t recommend it for anyone.

        • SabyneWired says:

          @katylostherart: I used to be interested in IUDs…until I saw one of the potential complications is ectopic pregnancy. One of my friends had an IUD, and she had to be rushed to the hospital a couple weeks ago because she had an ectopic pregnancy that ruptured. Scary stuff. I think I’ll stick to hormonal BC. o.o

          • johnva says:

            @SabyneWired: It’s not really true that they “cause” ectopic pregnancy. It’s just that if you do get pregnant while using an IUD, it’s more likely to be an ectopic pregnancy, because it’s not as effective at preventing that sort of pregnancy as it is normal ones. Your risk of ectopic pregnancy is still lower than if you weren’t using birth control at all (in other words, an IUD actually prevents some ectopic pregnancies…just not as effectively as some other forms of birth control). And because any pregnancy is quite rare while using an IUD, the absolute risk of ectopic pregnancy is still low (we’re talking like 0.25%). There are also IUD’s that contain hormonal contraceptives (don’t know if those have lower risk of ectopic pregnancy than other IUD’s or not).

            • SabyneWired says:

              @johnva: Ah, that’s true. Sorry, I worded that poorly. Still, it doesn’t seem as rare when it happens to a close friend. She’s still pretty depressed over everything.

        • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

          @katylostherart: I’ve tried all BC, one of those people who goes crazy on hormonal ones. I got the Copper IUD back in November, by June my body had rejected it and pushed it half out and it started to imbed.

          What bothers me most about this post – is not so much the argument whether the morning after pill is abortion, whether men can buy it or not, or all that rhetoric — it’s the plain and blunt fact that other people are establishing power over my body.

          No one should have a say but me.

    • Brazell says:

      @katiat325: Better than condoms in some ways but not others. Not passing judgements on the epistle’s sex life, but condoms do a lot more than just block the transfer of sperm.

      • katiat325 says:

        @MichaelBrazell: that is very true. I am a fan of condoms, especially for younger people. But I think for those that have been tested and are clean, and are in a commited relationship, condoms become somewhat unnecessary since many other birth control pills are available. But in terms of affortability while not having health insurance, and assuming they’re in a stable/committed relationship, I do think that the shot is easier, more convenient, and cheaper than BC pills (unless you order them online through a Canadian pharmacy — my friends do that, saves them soo much money).

        • floraposte says:

          @katiat325: Though it’s probably good to remember that there’s no across-the-board “clean,” just for the specific diseases tested for (which, for men, doesn’t include HPV, so there’s never a known “clean from HPV” male partner).

    • probablykate says:

      @katiat325: I was on Depo for years and loved it, until one of the planned parenthood doctors told me about the black box warning that extended use can cause a loss in bone density and that it’s best not to use it for more than 2 years.

      • katiat325 says:

        @probablykate: yeah, I knew about that, and once the year is up on my depo, i’ll be switching over to BC (if I have insurance) for a year, and then to depo again. love depo.

    • Yurei says:

      @katiat325: the shot is well and fine, IF you don’t mind the nasty side effects potentially involved with it. Several of my co workers had taken it and they all stopped and warned me not to go on it when I was looking around for preventative measures, stating massive hair loss as only one of many nasty, nasty things it comes with. (And by hair loss I mean the hair falling out of your scalp in large clumps. Not a few stray hairs.) BC pills can have their own yucky things too but, from what i’ve heard the shot is far, far worse.

      • katiat325 says:

        @Yurei: I guess it really does depend on the person, but I have been on the shot for 4 months now, and don’t have the bad side effects. They should consult with a doctor/nurse about it first. I tried a few BC pills, and found that they significantly alter my mood, and any pill with Ortho pretty much messes me up in general: bad skin, cramps, unexpected bleeding, feeling like shit. I had good results with Yasmin and do recommend that to friends. However, I was without health insurance for 7 months, and went to kaiser to get a pack for 1 month of pills: $105!!! So the shot ended up being the best answer for me.

    • mobiuschic42 says:

      @katiat325: As someone who sometimes goes crazy on BC pills (as many women are prone to do), there is *NO WAY* I would take the shot, despite being responsible. What if it does mess with my head? Then I’m stuck with that for 3 months? No thanks. As others have said, the shot is not for everyone, and neither is the pill.

    • mythago says:

      @katiat325: um, you don’t “get her” the shot. It’s not like taking your dog to the vet.

      That said, the shot is a good option for many and a terrible option for many. I understand it’s worked great for you but you’ve only been on it 4 months.

    • PixiePerson says:

      @katiat325: I had a really bad time on the shot. Gained ten pounds every time I got it (no stopping that effect, no losing it until I quit), it screwed up my sex drive, I’d be on the rag for the last two weeks of it (in a drip, drip, drip way), it was a pain in the ass. I get migraines, so they didn’t want me on the normal pill, but the shot was not, *not* a good alternative.

      So the shot: good for many, really super oh my god bad for many.

    • Mary Marsala with Fries says:

      @katiat325: Yeah, but long-term doses of hormones are not for everyone, and the suck part of the shot is that once you get it, you’re stuck with it. There are almost always some side-effects…I usually recommend the shot for people who’ve already taken the same type of birth control as a pill, and know that it isn’t going to mess with them.

      (I took the pill for a while, then switched to a non-hormonal IUD to give the ol’ system a break from chemical modification. Seems to have worked great…but the “withdrawal” from hormones is no fun!)

  20. Nik in Denver, formerly in NOLA says:

    Not to blame the consumer here, but what do you expect from Mississippi? That’s one of the most backwards places in the country. I got dirty looks buying alcohol there. I couldn’t imagine the BS hassle in Mississippi of getting contraceptives or anything related to that.

    AFAIK from a quick search, they do allow for refusal on moral grounds, but don’t have any requirements for propaganda or waiting periods. I’m not really sure they needed your driver’s license info either. I’d complain to corporate about it. If they were going to refuse on moral grounds, they should have just done so.

    • DownfieldComa says:

      @Nik in NOLA: Wow. This coming from someone who admits to live in Louisiana? Don’t know how many times I’ve had to be in that state and buy anything. It’s always been a shitty experience.

      • Nik in Denver, formerly in NOLA says:

        @DownfieldComa: You’re assuming that I won’t admit it’s just as bad in Louisiana (or that I’m not planning on leaving in the next 8 months). Outside of the New Orleans area and maybe Baton Rouge, the rest of the state is just as bad as Mississippi and Alabama. That trio constantly competes in the race to the bottom. Shitty experience and Louisiana/Mississippi/Alabama tends to go hand-in-hand. This obviously isn’t getting into corruption-styled BS, in which Louisiana is king.

        @Robert112: I haven’t been to Hattiesburg in a while, but last time I was in Jackson (or any of the costal areas), I always had this feeling that I was going to get the shit beaten out of me because “I don’t belong [there].” From what I’ve seen in the US (about 1/3 of it), Mississippi is near the bottom.

        • DownfieldComa says:

          @Nik in NOLA: I wasn’t assuming anything really, I was just going off your statements against Mississippi. And to be quite frank, Baton Rouge AND New Orleans should be included in your statement. I like going to New Orleans, but the last time I was there, it was one of the crappiest experiences I’ve had buying a six pack. Don’t think I’ve ever had a problem in Shreveport however…

          Believe me, there are a lot worse places in the US (I’ve seen more than 1/2 probably) than Mississippi, Lousisana, or Alabama, for both crazy conservatism and just plain crazy ass people. Parts of Georgia? Oh my. Of course there are parts of the nation that you go in and buy a six pack or condoms that I’ve gotten a bad feeling from. The last place was a small (SMALL) town in New Mexico.

    • Robert112 says:

      @Nik in NOLA:

      Mississippi isn’t really as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Sure there are some batshit insane laws, but most are confined to less populated areas. Hattiesburg and the Jackson area are some of the better places.

      As for Plan B, I had no problems picking it up for my girlfriend. Didn’t even have to show my id. In fact, I usually get an “oh yeah!” from whoever is working behind the counter when I get a box of condoms.

    • Mary Marsala with Fries says:

      @Nik in NOLA: That…is a really DUMB way to blame the consumer, I gotta hand it to you. You’re blaming them for LIVING in the wrong place?

      I don’t suppose you think the people who died in Katrina should have known to live somewhere better, etc.?


      • Nik in Denver, formerly in NOLA says:

        @DownfieldComa: I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem buying anything in New Orleans with the BS hassle in the stores (though there’s one particular pharmacy in the suburbs that used to have this batshit insane clerk that would start preaching and ranting if anyone bought condoms). Alcohol tends to flow free here. Concerning calling out LA/MS/AL as the worst places in the country is pretty accurate from what I’ve seen because they don’t have redeemable qualities. I’ve had horrible experiences in many other states, yet those other states have enough redeeming qualities to make them worth living in. These three really don’t IMO. Economies really haven’t recovered from the Civil War, lack of opportunities if you aren’t in construction or hospitality, political corruption, no chance of breaking in unless you’re friends of someone’s brother’s cousin, rampant poverty with no escape, horrible education, almost anti-intellectualism movements, disproportionally higher costs of living, higher insurance rates, lower pay compared to other areas, etc. I’ve been to places where people are by far nuttier than in those three (OK, SC, MT), but these places are by far some of the worst places to live in the country IMO.

        @Mary Marsala with Fries: Oops. I lived through Katrina. It wasn’t anyone’s particular fault outside of the Army Corp’s and their defective levees. Sorry. Nice try. But if you want me to bite, you assume the risk living in any particular place. Don’t like hurricanes? Get out of the Gulf South. Don’t like wildfires? Don’t live in SoCal. Don’t want to deal with tornadoes? Get out of Tornado Alley. Hate midwestern winters? Don’t live there. But that isn’t the point.

        The point is that when you’re in areas that go overboard with pushing their form of morality, you expect it and you aren’t surprised when clerks (or even pharmacists) even at larger chains give you a BS hassle over buying something that they may disagree with.

        • DownfieldComa says:

          @Nik in NOLA: “lack of opportunities” – have you looked the different car manufacturers that have come into Mississippi and Alabama in the past 5 years? What is it, Nissan in Canton, and didn’t Toyota recently announce they were building a plant in Mississippi? And I believe Alabama has a Mercedes plant that has been a great job producer there.

          “disproportionally higher costs of living” – okay, where have you been looking? Seriously, I’m asking here – where have you been looking at? I would love to have the cost of living from most of Mississippi, and Alabama (I can’t say Louisiana because when I lived there it was on-base and not based off the local economy).

          “Higher insurance rates” – really? I’ve been a state farm customer everywhere I’ve gone, and playing the percentage game, the South was either at the same price as other places or well lower.

          No offense is intended here, but alot of what your saying seems like its based off of antiquated stereotypes. Don’t get me wrong here, I have lots to complain about the south, for instance, on a cross country trip, literally – the worst drivers I dealt with were East of Monroe, LA to Pearl, MS. Without a doubt. The lack of consumer options (at the time) in MS – if I needed a specific part for a computer system, or my car, I had very few choices to go to. And if they didn’t have what I needed, I was SOL.

          Believe me – I’m not saying that MS, AL, or LA are the best places to live in the US. (Personally, the best I’ve been in have been Texas, Washington State, or Colorado). Just don’t think they are the worst. (Cough, West Virginia, Cough, Cough).

          • Nik in Denver, formerly in NOLA says:

            No offense taken. This is based on my experience in New Orleans. It wasn’t great before Katrina, but now its just a situation that makes me wonder why I haven’t left yet (currently leaving in June/July). I’m one of those “educated young professionals” that Louisiana tends to lose with the same frequency that I lose change in the couch because there’s really nothing in the region that requires anything more than a HS diploma or the things that are here simply don’t pay enough compared to other areas (for example: friend who just bolted for Houston gets 75K there plus better benefits while doing less work whereas he got 30K here and was constantly overloaded with work because they were understaffed and weren’t sure if the company was going to be here in 5 years).

            Basically, it costs more for me to live in the Greater New Orleans area than it does to live in other cities I’ve looked at. I lived in Chicago for about a year after Katrina. I paid less in rent for a nicer place and paid roughly the same for bills (and food). Rent here is beyond insane, and housing prices if you’re buying are still overpriced since too many people decided they would make tons of money flipping houses. In terms of, say, a weekly grocery bill, the South is dirt cheap compared to other places I’ve been to. Problem is when I’m paying way too much for shelter that I actually pay more than I would in a major city. Obviously the rent issues don’t apply to Northern LA as much, but pretty much anything along the I-10 corridor is at the point where rent is disproportionally high compared to what you can earn.

            Louisiana historically has higher insurance rates than other places. Most recent numbers I could find (via google) have the most expensive auto insurance rates as: DC (sometimes not counted), NJ, NY, MA, LA, FL. In terms of homeowners, LA is like 2 (and they don’t pay out when it finally does happen) and MS is like 4.

            I’m looking at it in terms of “where would I like to settle down” before I get strapped with a career and/or kids. This entire region isn’t exactly a place I’d like to raise a family mainly because of safety (mostly NO area here), educational opportunities (almost universally bad), and job market for my skill set (not really existent/not enough pay). Not to mention the state has absolutely no longterm plan, and they simply can’t lure in big companies to invest here (AL and MS obviously can and have) mainly because in order to actually do business in LA you have to be in the good ole boys club. I’m sure there are worse places out there (yeah, WV is pretty bad, I forgot about it which should actually say something), but there can’t be many.

            • HeyYouGuyss says:

              @Nik in NOLA: Come to Atlanta. We’re awesome.

              Probably because it’s a ‘big’ city full of transplants, I’ve never met the southern stereotypes I was warned about before moving down here. I’ve actually met a lot of southern hospitality. Also, please keep in mind that problems with buying alcohol are from old Blue Laws…which extend up the entire East Coast (NY, CT, etc). When I lived in Chicago I would stock up on Sundays at the nearest grocery store…now you can’t buy on Sunday and the grocery stores aren’t allowed more than wine and beer. But I can buy as many guns as I want.

              I’ve never heard of anyone blinking an eye for things like Plan B or Sudafed. The last time I bought me some Sudie I was giddy with anticipation at my Most Favorite Cold Remedy, and the clerk couldn’t care less. Haven’t needed Plan B (fingers crossed I won’t need it!), but reading this crap about idiot pharmacists makes me want to go out and buy some just to gauge the reaction.

  21. squish123 says:

    That’s pretty sad to hear.. I once had to take my GF to get Plan B from a Walgreens in Michigan and we had no such trouble so it definitely sounds like its region based. We walked up to the counter she showed her ID and we were handed a box – no questions asked.

    The forced waiting period and adoption pamphlets are just insulting though. That would definitely get my blood boiling. I wonder if that’s a state mandate or just the pharmacist there being a redneck asshole. I’m sure he has no problems handing out fistfulls of Oxycontin to people who don’t need it.

    • johnva says:

      @squish123: IMHO, the “adoption literature” part of this is the most outrageous. Any pharmacist who does that on the job should be fired immediately.

  22. bonzombiekitty says:

    The problem with plan B is it’s expensive. $50 a pop around here. My girlfriend can’t use BC, but she’s considering getting a prescription for it just so she can use it as an ECP in case of accidents. That way her insurance will pay for it and she’ll have more than 1 treatment available. There is a list of various BC pill combinations that are known as effective ECP treatments.

  23. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I used Plan B once. It’s no fun. It’s a deliberate, violent shock to your hormones and it makes you puke your stomach inside out. But I’m so grateful it’s available.

    • oneandone says:

      @speedwell: Same and same. By amazing coincidence, the day I needed to use it was the day after it went over the counter – and it was a Saturday. Student clinic at my U (which I knew stocked it) was closed, didn’t know how I could get a prescription at the last minute…. until the nurse answering the phone at the clinic suggested I just go to CVS.

      I have never been more relieved in my life, and deeply appreciate the professional attitude of the dispensing pharmacist. All he did was glance at my ID and ask very sincerely if I had questions or wanted to talk. When I said no thanks, he handed the box over.

      I didn’t have the puking, but definitely felt quite ill and achy.

    • katiat325 says:

      @speedwell: my first time having sex w/o condoms was 2 days before i got my BC pills, so I was super thankful to have EC available to me, for $30 in SF, but the feeling it gave was horrible. I didn’t throw up, but i felt sick the whole day, and dizzy and tired…and had to do a bunch of data entry at work too. Not fun, but super thankful.

    • batsy says:

      @speedwell: I had to use it once, had no issues or complaints. Didn’t feel even slightly sick.

  24. oneandone says:

    Walgreens does not require its pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception (and maybe other ‘objectionable’ drugs like birth control? I’m having a hard time finding their policies.

    Eckerd, CVS, and Wal-mart do not allow pharmacists to morally refuse to fill a legit prescription. Eckerd fired someone in 2004: [hr.blr.com]

    Wal-mart tried to get around this by not stocking emergency contraception for a while – so all pharmacists would have to refer customers to a different pharmacy, regardless of moral belief. But birth control brings in the $$, so they’ve changed policy.

  25. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Good on the OP for thinking ahead and getting Plan B *before* you need it.

    My two experiences getting it (accidents both times) before it was “over the counter” were horrendous – mostly because they had to ensure I wasn’t raped, I wasn’t already pregnant via blood test and all sorts of other nasty things.

    The government’s current agenda to get Plan B and other oral contraceptives labeled as “abortion” so they can then be outlawed is a blatant religious topic.

    If you can’t justify why you’re banning or restricting something WITHOUT bringing YOUR religion into it, it isn’t for the masses. Period.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I recommend Planned Parenthood (if available) for these – they sell them at a discount and no questions asked (had to get it once). Then again, my friend got one at Walgreen’s without any questions asked (I’m in Chicago though).

  27. wlbell says:

    This is so Oxford. I went to school at Ole Miss and these are hard core Southern Baptist. I’m not at all surprised they gave you a hard time.

    But isn’t Plan B really considered more than just spermicide? This is if the condom breaks not for having unprotected sex, right?

  28. Phexerian says:


    This site gives all the known drug interactions with Plan B subdivided into major, moderate, and minor with an explanation of each drug interaction.

    Sale of Plan B is pursuant to state laws, not federal. Each state will have different laws regarding the sale of Plan B, much like Sudafed.

    Plan B in most states is not considered “OTC” but is more behind the counter so there are restrictions to buying it such as age. I’ve never heard of a sex requirement so males can also purchase Plan B I would assume. Regarding any OTC (over the counter) product that is not behind the counter, one should not have any problems buying those.

    The pharmacist did not treat you very well and certainly seems to have an alternate agenda from Walgreens. If you would like to complain, call the store or another Walgreens store and get the pharmacy district managers name and number and talk to him/her. It must be the PHARMACY district manager, not the retail district manager.

    The state of MS may require a license number to be written down pursuant to state law but this is something you would have to look up. My state does not require a license number for Plan B but does for Sudafed. Other states are bound to be different. Since this is from a conservative state I would not be surprised if a license number was required. Your license number most likely won’t be given out by Walgreens either. Those numbers are kept in a book or kept electronically in the store for state regulators to check maybe once or twice and then they are discarded after a few years.

    Also, as mentioned above, Plan B is not a spermicide but rather a contraceptive as it prevents implantation and fertilization. It is not an abortifacient contrary to religious nut job beliefs.

    Regarding a pharmacists rights to refuse the sale of Plan B; they may be able to refuse in your state. Once again, this is a state issue. Not all states have this and your state may not yet. Unfortunately, the pharmacy profession is pushing for these laws more and more. I personally do not like the laws but that is not the issue at hand. A good way to find out about some of the laws are to call around to some different pharmacies and ask the pharmacist on duty if there is such a law.

    However, your first step should be getting in contact with the pharmacy district manager. He/She may not like the fact that one of their pharmacists is pushing out anti abortion propaganda in their pharmacies. On the other hand, that district manager may also be the person turning a blind eye to it. It is also very possible the store manager has something to do with this as well since the store manager technically has authority over the pharmacist (something I very much disagree with).

    Good luck.

    -3rd Year PharmD/MBA Candidate

  29. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    @skipjack: That’s the most asinine and closed minded thing I’ve ever heard.

    Yes, abstinence is the *only* guaranteed way not to get pregnant. But it is stupid to not have sex if you can be a responsible adult and use contraceptives properly (and no, that doesn’t mean getting pregnant and automatically having an abortion – but that’s another can of worms.)

    The OP was being responsible and getting protection incase of mishap, which many many many young people are NOT doing, and should be doing.

    • EyeHeartPie says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: How is it an asinine and close minded statement? It’s a pure statement of fact. You said it yourself: “…abstinence is the *only* guaranteed way not to get pregnant”. Even taking every precaution and using contraceptives and everything, you still might get pregrnant/impregnate someone. It doesn’t have anything to do with how responsible you are, or how careful, etc.

    • skipjack says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: Love folks who fall back on “closed mind”. I’ve found through anecdotal evidence in these here intrawebs that the folks who use that as a crutch generally have the same condition that they accuse others of.

      My comment wasn’t geared toward the OP…it was geared toward the comment i replied to. please pay attention.

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        @skipjack: The comment of yours OwC was replying to wasn’t a reply to another comment. Check the links, and do please try to keep up.

        • skipjack says:

          @speedwell: You are aware that OwC was replying to my comment..right?

          Perhaps you should double check before trying to play gotcha.

          • snoop-blog says:

            @skipjack:I’m glad you are like the camel of no sex and can go long periods of time without, but some of us want to have sex and no children.

            Let me mangle you first comment if I may,

            Original comment: “Don’t want to have kids…don’t have sex”

            Don’t want to have kids? Just be Homosexual.

            Don’t want to have kids? Better not get raped then.

            Man nevermind. It’s no wonder your only friend is Bladefist.

            • skipjack says:

              @snoop-blog: Well, my worth is not determined by how many “online” friends i have.

              My statement stands as is. If you want to add meaning that isn’t there to my statment in order to be popular among your friends here on the consumerist…have at it…apparently they are very important to your perception of yourself.

    • katiat325 says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: no, it’s not. there are a few surgical procedures than can leave both sexes infertile/ unable to reproduce but still enjoy the pleasures of sex. For example, I can go get my tubes tied tomorrow and never get pregnant again! mauahahahaha! <– sorry.

      • mythago says:

        @katiat325: Sterilization has a failure rate, although it’s very low. So yeah, be sorry.

      • Madjia says:


        Statistically sterilization has about the same failure rate on women as the BC pill or condoms. In about 1% (some specialists say 2%) of the patients the body heals so well that the tubes get reconnected.

        And since a lot of women think they are save, yeah it ends up in some pregnancies

  30. bobpence says:

    Plan B is not merely spemicidal, it prevents implantation of a fertilized egg. Many people define life to begin at implantation (it may be that the majority of fertilized eggs, zygotes, never implant), but as others feel it begins at conception, I have no problem with their being allowed to refer patients elsewhere.

    That said, it MUST be aboveboard. Medical providers have gotten hinky with me and with a friend w/r/t wanting to pay outright for something because, if our insurance covers it, it could be a problem. Not sure if some insurance covers Plan B, since it is different from most OTC stuff. Writing down a DL number is no big either, as it proves the clerk checked as required. I want to suspect the OP or his girlfriend was a little self-conscious and saw obstruction in mere process, but the “waiting period” definitely alarms me.

  31. pwillow1 says:

    I would suggest that Michael or his GF contact the manufacturers of Plan B (which is Duramed Pharmaceuticals) and alert the company regarding their experience in purchasing this product. I have certainly heard stories of pharmacies and pharmacists who didn’t know the law regarding the dispensing of this drug. For example, men ARE permitted to purchase Plan B, although I have heard of stories where some pharmacists refuse to allow this, probably because they didn’t realize that anyone over 18 can purchase it.

    Duramed has a website for Plan B, and I would imagine that they’re also “up” on state laws regarding the sale of their product. They might know if there is a state law in MS about a mandated waiting period for purchase. If this imposed waiting period was the pharmacist’s idea and not the result of a state law, Duramed might be willing to contact the pharmacist to “educate” him regarding the proper way to dispense this drug.

    I’d also suggest that Michael contact the State Board of Pharmacy in MS and find out if there is a complaint process that Michael or his GF could initiate for the treatment they received at this pharmacy. Certainly if MS mandates a “waiting period” for the purchase of Plan B, the State Board of Pharmacy would be aware of that particular state law. If there is no state law (and I can’t imagine there would be), then the Board of Pharmacy may have a procedure for reaching out to this pharmacist regarding his treatment of Michael and his GF.

    I’m going to be sending the link of this Consumerist article to some of the feminist blogs I read regularly, as I’ve certainly read similar stories about women having problems getting Plan B dispensed, and I know feminist blogs like to keep up on reproductive health issues.

    My point is, Michael, don’t take this lying down. Make noise. Follow up with the appropriate supervisory/regulatory agency in MS about this. If you had problems with this pharmacy, other people have had/will have problems as well. It’s important that this pharmacist know that he cannot intimidate/harrass or shame people who want to purchase emergency contraception.

  32. SkokieGuy says:

    To anyone who thinks that a religious or moral exemption is acceptable in a healthcare (or any public service) setting, how about:

    A Catholic hospital saving the life of an unborn baby at the expense of the mother’s life?

    A police officer refusing to arrest a same-sex partner of domestic violence?

    A Vegan animal control officer refusing to euthanize a violent animal?

    A fireman refusing to put out a fire at a home for unwed mothers?

    If you are in a profession that impacts the health or safety of others, your duty to provide the best possible care trumps any personal beliefs.

    If you are unable to perform the duties of your chosen career, then yes, you must change careers.

    Let’s thicken the plot:

    What about a prison doctor who refused to perform CPR on an injured pedophile prisoner?

    What about an army medic refusing to perform lifesaving actions on a suspected terrorist?

    • Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:


      Amen brother. A few more possibile examples:

      The Scientologist pharmacist who refuses to dispense psychiatric meds?

      The Vegan pharmacist who won’t sell you Insulin because it’s an animal product?

      The Jewish pharmacy who refuses to sell your mother thyroid medicine because it’s not kosher?

      The Seventh Day Adventist ER doctor who refuses to do a blood transfusion on your critically injured spouse or child? I’m sure all those “Right of Consciense” folks would simply get a different doctor, yes? Unless they weren’t available to make that decision. Then they’d just have to accept the docs “conscience driven” decision when they find out about it later.

      Or the Muslim doctor who refused to treat women, or non-Muslims. I wonder how the morality crowd feels about that.

      If someone has a moral or religious objection to performing the duties required by a certain job, they shouldn’t be doing that job. If they take the job anyway, then there’s no fucking excuse for them to fail to fulfill their obligations. A pharmacist who who refuses to dispense certain medicines because of “moral objections” deserves exactly the same treatment as a vegetarian who goes to work for McDonald’s and then refuses to sell hamburgers.

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        @TinyBug: Many atheists work at bookstores, and I haven’t heard of anyone refusing to sell a Bible.

      • SkokieGuy says:

        @TinyBug: Exactly. A moral exemption creates a defacto way for the public to ignore the law.

        Let’s look at the Brown vs. Board of Ed. decision that desegregated schools. With the ‘moral exemption’ excuse, all teachers in many Southern schools would have likely claimed the exemption and refused to teach African-American students. This would give individuals the right to legally ignore the law.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @SkokieGuy: “A Catholic hospital saving the life of an unborn baby at the expense of the mother’s life?”

      This isn’t Catholic health care policy, incidentally. They’d be better examples if you picked ones that are actual issues.

      “If you are in a profession that impacts the health or safety of others, your duty to provide the best possible care trumps any personal beliefs. If you are unable to perform the duties of your chosen career, then yes, you must change careers.”

      This would be a terrible set of policies, honestly. What are the “duties of your chosen career” if you’re a doctor? Must you provide plastic surgery on demand to 13-year-old girls seeking breast enhancement? Must you provide $60,000 fertility treatments to all comers when some of your patients can’t afford life-saving medicine? Must you provide abortions on demand? Must you practice sports medicine, where the purpose of the medical treatment is to let the patient go forth and risk reinjury as quickly as possible?

      If you forced all doctors who refused to perform some PERFECTLY LEGAL aspect of medicine they personally found morally questionable, you would have no doctors left.

      MOREOVER, it IS the responsibility of professionals (medical, legal, etc.) to stand up to what they see as moral abuses. I’m sure you’re aware that “I was following orders” is simply not an excuse for immoral behavior in the wake of Nuremburg. It takes moral courage — AND THE FREEDOM TO EXERCISE ONE’S MORAL JUDGMENT — for doctors to stand up and say, “No, it’s wrong to sterilize the poor and members of minorities. Eugenics is a violation of human rights.” Legal, sanctions and paid for by the government, but a violation of human rights. Your proposed schema assumes that’s what’s legal is moral, what can be done should be done, and that is patently false — and has been repeatedly demonstrated in history as not just false but dangerous.

      Part of your First Amendment rights as an American is the right to exercise your moral judgment even within the bounds of your professional life. Health care is not as simple as “tab A, slot B” — it involves a lot of judgment calls. Removing the ability of doctors and other health care professionals to make those judgment calls is dangerous and leads to serious degradation in quality of care. And some MEDICAL judgment calls are INEVITABLY going to cross into moral areas, especially when we start to think of “medical” issues as including mental health, lifestyle issues, etc. I, for example, am generally against most fertility treatments, for reasons that are medical, practical, AND moral in nature. If I were a medical professional (I’m just a medical ethics teacher), it would be entirely impossible for me to extricate my medical and practical objections from my moral objections. They all run together because medical issues ARE moral issues in many, many cases.

      Part of being an American — and it bothers me that so many Americans are so intolerant about this — is that while you have the freedom to exercise your moral and religious beliefs, SO DO OTHER PEOPLE, EVEN WHEN YOU DISAGREE WITH THEIR BELIEFS.

      Yes, allowing professionals to exercise their moral judgment means you’re going to run into assholes, and into people whose views simply don’t fit the dominant views of society. But it’s a far better system than the alternative.

      • SkokieGuy says:

        @Eyebrows McGee: Let’s look at some of your analogies.

        “Must you provide plastic surgery on demand to 13-year-old girls seeking breast enhancement? [This is not a life-saving procedure and not time-sensitive like Plan B]

        “Must you provide $60,000 fertility treatments to all comers when some of your patients can’t afford life-saving medicine?” [Again, not life-saving or time-sensitive that immediate treatment is required. And how does refusing an expensive treatment from some patients somehow impact other patients who don’t have health insurance? Apples and oranges]

        Must you provide abortions on demand? If you’re in private OBY-GYN practice, certainly your choice of what services you offer, but if you are on-staff at a public hospital, a little murkier]

        Must you practice sports medicine, where the purpose of the medical treatment is to let the patient go forth and risk reinjury as quickly as possible? [If you have this objection, then Sports Medicine is likely not the ideal career path, now is it? If a football player comes to the emergency room with a broken leg, you suggest a doctor should have the right to refuse to set it on the basis that the athelete may just injure himself again?]

        Yes, governments can pass laws that are unjust or immoral, and I am all in favor of peaceful civil disobedience. A doctor should certainly use his First Amendment rights to protest injustice in the public square, but denying someone lifesaving treatment or time-critical treatment (like Plan B) is not the place to voice objections to a law he finds objectionable.

        You are a medical ethics teacher and yet you also equate Nazi era forced sterilizations (unwanted procedures forced on unwilling patients) with denial of services (willing patient unable to receive legal and otherwise appropriate service)? Wow. Completely invalid analogy.

        We’ve often agreed in the past, but I am shocked that you teach ethics yet cannot make a more coherent argument supporting a doctor’s right to deny services on moral grounds.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @SkokieGuy: “You are a medical ethics teacher and yet you also equate Nazi era forced sterilizations (unwanted procedures forced on unwilling patients) with denial of services (willing patient unable to receive legal and otherwise appropriate service)?”

          I was actually referring to US sterilization treatments, not Nazi sterilization treatments. :) (Although modern medical ethics codes are heavily based on lessons from the Holocaust and Nuremburg trials, so they are inextricably linked with the horrors and excesses Nazi “medicine”.) But the point does stand — many people at the time felt that routine sterilization for “undesirable” members of the US public was sensible, humane, scientific, and darn good policy. Just because the majority of people think something’s a good idea doesn’t make it moral. We need people to be able to stand up and say, “THAT’S IMMORAL!” even if their view is extremely unpopular. And the majority of the time, they’re probably wrong — such as all the folks screaming “that’s immoral!” about interracial marriage. Or gay marriage. But the ability to make the objection remains important.

          Pharmacists are not, generally, public servants. They’re typically employees of private corporations. So they’re more similar to your doctor at a private ob/gyn practice. The complaint goes to the corporation, not to the ability of pharmacists to make ethical objections to treatments.

          “If a football player comes to the emergency room with a broken leg, you suggest a doctor should have the right to refuse to set it on the basis that the athelete may just injure himself again?”

          ER doctors do sometimes refuse to treat patients they suspect are going to go forth and do themselves harm if they’re treated. And some doctors simply refuse to treat patients whom they feel are non-compliant or creating their own problems. Sometimes this seems at least understandable if not necessarily humane (doctor refusing to continue treating someone with emphyzema who continues to smoke three packs a day); sometimes it just seems obnoxious (doctor refusing to treat an elderly woman who lives alone with minor allergies who won’t get rid of her single companion cat).

        • Phexerian says:

          @SkokieGuy: Very substantial response sir! This looks like a good debate!

      • picardia says:

        @Eyebrows McGee: Sorry, but your examples fail. The fundamental boundary of “your freedom” versus “my freedom” is the boundary where your exercise of freedom involves taking away my freedom. And that’s where we are here. Not performing breast augmentation on a 13-year-old doesn’t fall anywhere near the level of infringement of refusing someone emergency contraception. So maybe stop lecturing people about choosing bad examples until you come up with less farcial — and unconvincing — ones of your own.

      • katylostherart says:

        @Eyebrows McGee: “Part of being an American — and it bothers me that so many Americans are so intolerant about this — is that while you have the freedom to exercise your moral and religious beliefs, SO DO OTHER PEOPLE, EVEN WHEN YOU DISAGREE WITH THEIR BELIEFS.

        Yes, allowing professionals to exercise their moral judgment means you’re going to run into assholes, and into people whose views simply don’t fit the dominant views of society. But it’s a far better system than the alternative.”

        any doctor working for a hospital that receives state or federal funding should not be allowed to exercise their moral judgments when it comes to denying a patient a PERFECTLY LEGAL procedure. and there is a big difference between elective and necessary procedures. it IS a catholic stance that abortion has no mitigating circumstances including the mother’s health.

        “even within the bounds of your professional life” ends when you get any taxpayer’s money. and if you want to make the case for pharmacies being private businesses, many of them receive federal money in the form of medicaid/medicare payments as well as the pharmaceutical companies themselves receiving money from the federal government for research.

        your morals on your dime, not mine.

        • SkokieGuy says:

          @katylostherart: Bravo!

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @katylostherart: “any doctor working for a hospital that receives state or federal funding should not be allowed to exercise their moral judgments when it comes to denying a patient a PERFECTLY LEGAL procedure. and there is a big difference between elective and necessary procedures. it IS a catholic stance that abortion has no mitigating circumstances including the mother’s health.”

          There are two problems with this. The first is that “saving the fetus’s life at the expense of the mother’s” is actually a different formulation than “abortion for the mother’s health.” Catholic health care policy (at least in the US) does not save the fetus’s life at the expense of the mother’s. Go to Catholic medical school and they teach you to D&C. There was a very famous case where a woman with some ridiculous number of pre-existing children (8?) wanted to die so her questionably-viable fetus could live for religious convictions, and they actually called in her bishop who told her her moral obligation was to live for the children, and that saving her life wasn’t an “abortion” when it resulted in the death of the fetus. (Neither is, say, cancer treatments that result in the loss of the fetus. It’s called the doctrine of double effect.)

          The second problem, a practical one, was illustrated in Illinois some years ago, when the governor decided that all hospital ERs that took federal or state funding (that is, all of them) should be required to provide abortion on demand. (It was for some stupid political reason, not because he’s particularly in favor of abortion rights.) The Catholic hospitals said, “All righty then, we’ll be closing our doors, as we can’t comply with that mandate.” (They actually issued a statement that said something like “We look forward to putting the 500 million dollars a year we funnel into providing charitable health care to the citizens of Illinois into other endeavors like education” — a not too subtle, “Hey, look at what your tax increase is going to be!”) Which of course meant the state had to back down — something like 28 counties downstate are ONLY served by Catholic health services: the state pulled out YEARS ago because it costs too much to provide rural health care. Many of the poorest parts of Chicago are served by the Catholic system — because the state decided it was too expensive.

          So the Catholic Church’s morals AREN’T on your dime — they’re subsidizing the crap out of your dime if you live in a state with a substantial Catholic health care system. So you can EITHER pay substantially higher taxes to create a real STATE system, a system that the state allowed to atrophy years and years ago to save money, often at the expense of the poorest members of society, OR you can continue to dance with the devil and let the devil call the tune. Because when you’ve made your health care system absolutely and totally reliant on the charitably-subsidized services that various religious organizations provide, you’re not going to be able to detach yourself from their moral imperatives.

          There’s a similar, tho slightly different, problem with pharmacists. Most areas of the country are experiencing relatively drastic pharmacist shortages. Let’s say we remove from the profession all pharmacists who have moral problems with dispensing whatever legal drug happens to be in question. Now instead of a 24-hour pharmacy that dispenses 99% of prescriptions, you’ve got an 8-hour pharmacy that dispenses 100% … but how much access do people have when hours are shortened and some pharmacies are closing? Some corporations whose policies say “dispense Plan B” are hiring these guys who won’t because THEY CAN’T GET ANYBODY ELSE and they’d rather lose 1 person’s business than 200 people’s business.

          So, again, that’s a systemic problem that needs solving, not so much a problem with the ethical system.

          Just to clarify, I think it’s totally moronic to refuse to dispense Plan B. (And downright offensive to offer up lectures and adoption brochures with your birth control method of choice.) But the issue of professional ethics is too important to subordinate to that single issue.

          • katylostherart says:

            @Eyebrows McGee: i would gladly take the higher taxes. i currently lose 25% of my income in federal/state taxes, ss and medicare. now the government is too shitty at math to apparently see that i’m in the 15% cap and do it properly as i get paid. i get a very very meager tax return and no state healthcare instead of keeping the difference between actual tax owed and tax paid to say pay an insurance premium. i have to pay for every single bit of medical treatment i get out of my own pocket up to my deductible which is 10% of my gross yearly pay. i’ve only had health insurance for 4 months now and i lose it again at the end of december because my company decided that it’s too expensive. I WOULD GLADLY PAY MORE TAXES IF I GOT SOMETHING IN RETURN. oh wait, they just gave us a cheaper alternative this year. because i mean, before this year, no one needed affordable healthcare in america. AND I DON’T EVEN QUALIFY FOR THAT TIL I LOSE THIS SHITTY INSURANCE.

            so my medical care IS on my dime and has been since i turned 18. i end up paying personally for everything i get since i didn’t manage to get cancer in the past 4 months and probably won’t develop it in the month of december although seeing how this year has gone i see it as a possibility.

            so if i get into an accident and the nearest hospital is a catholic one i get taken there against my will by an ambulance. and when i am discharged I PAY. I PAY for every service and treatment i receive. if that is the only hospital or center offering care within a reachable distance I PAY. it’s the same for city hospitals. MY money, MY treatment. i do not owe less money because the hospital i went to has a denomination and a patron saint.

            and most of america is like that too. it’s not like the catholic hospitals are getting less money from their patients than city hospitals. i haven’t made my healthcare reliant on anything. that was done before i was born, that was done while i was learning to read and write. i’m 26 years old. absolutely nothing about the way the country is run as far as social welfare has been because of me.

            and pharmacists DO receive money in the form of medicare/medicaid reimbursements. if they want to continue to receive those, do not use any “god said so” rules on your patients.

            and another thing, why don’t freaking christian organizations expect some compassion from its members? yeah it looks great on paper but damn you straight to hell when you show up at the counter asking for help.

            “Some corporations whose policies say “dispense Plan B” are hiring these guys who won’t because THEY CAN’T GET ANYBODY ELSE and they’d rather lose 1 person’s business than 200 people’s business.”

            and back to other social systems. so much for job training. if there’s a shortage in pharmacists maybe the government should stop taking my money and giving it to africa and start training the idiot highschoolers that graduate every year with no skills and nothing to do.

      • JustThatGuy3 says:

        @Eyebrows McGee:

        Absolutely, if a pharmacist morally objects to dispensing birth control, they shouldn’t be forced to. But they SHOULDN’T BE A PHARMACIST. It’s a licensed profession, and there are requirements. How about a pharmacist who refuses to dispense AZT, because he believes that HIV positive people deserve what they got?

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @JustThatGuy3: There’s a slight difference there. (Although honestly, in either case, the pharmacy should fire his sorry ass because he’s useless. But that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t get to go open his own pharmacy that comports with his moral imperatives.)

          Generally, medical professionals may refuse to perform a procedure (or dispense a drug) they find objectionable, but they may NOT refuse to treat a category of patients they find objectionable. So you can refuse to perform fertility treatments because you object to fertility treatments; but if you perform them for some patients, you can’t refuse to perform them for lesbians because you object to lesbians having babies.

          So if the pharmacist thinks HIV positive patients “deserve what they got,” that’s objecting to a category of patients, so that’s discrimination. (If he came up with some moral objection to AZT, like, oh, he refused to dispense any drugs tested on animals, he’d be okay. Stupid, but okay.) But if he objects to Plan B for moral reasons (typically because he believes it’s abortifacient, or else he likes the Monty Python song about every sperm being sacred and not wasting them or God becomes irate and whatnot), that’s an objection to the DRUG, not the patient.

          Now, if he’ll dispense Plan B to married but not single women (very common for birth control, once upon a time), we’ve got ourselves a discrimination issue.

          Of course it’s very difficult to untangle “moral objection to abortifacient potential” from “moral objection to people having sex I disapprove of” … and I’m not sure we can without becoming the thought police.

          (Actually, I can think of half a dozen pretty interesting test cases by which you could attempt to prove the pharmacist’s problem is “moral objection to people having sex I disapprove of,” some of which border on the entertainingly absurd.)

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            @JustThatGuy3: @Eyebrows McGee: “But if he objects to Plan B for moral reasons (typically because he believes it’s abortifacient”

            This is actually a difficult line to hold, because if Plan B is a potential abortifacient, then chemical birth control is as well. So you could *probably* successfully argue that if he dispenses birth control but not Plan B, his objection is discriminatory.

            However, the inevitable outcome of that would be that a bunch of BC-dispensing, non-Plan-B-dispensing pharmacists (there are many; there are also those who already refuse to dispense both on abortifacient grounds) would quit dispensing birth control. Which would be an Even Bigger Problem, so it’s probably not a great tack to take.

            Which is the problem with a lot of solutions to this problem: They create hella more problems than they solve.

            • katylostherart says:

              @Eyebrows McGee: see but that would fall under proper sex education, which isn’t government funded…

              if any woman takes 2-3 times the daily dosage she will most likely terminate the pregnancy. that’s the thing behind plan b, a short term spike in hormone levels destroying the fertilization/implantation. but pharmacists and doctors have refused to give regular bc out too. oh and then we have nut jobs standing with pickets in front of planned parenthood because a lot of american women can’t get reproductive care and have to go there for the sliding scale.

              yeah, this system totally works.

      • LucyTuzy says:

        @Eyebrows McGee: What concerns me, is where do we draw the line? I agree that professionals need to stand up for themselves and make moral judgment calls. We all have to be able to sleep at night. But if your beliefs are interfering with your job performance, then a different organization in line with your belief system is perhaps necessary. Not to say that you can’t be a pharmacist if you don’t believe in contraception. But you should be working for an organization that understands and agrees with your moral beliefs. There are plenty of Christian pharmacies that operate on that system.

        What I object to is the bait and switch. These people entered into what they believed was a secular pharmacy. If they’d gone into St. Augustine’s Pharmacy, I would not be surprised. This however, is a national chain that does not claim to have a religious affiliation. It’s fine to not dispense birth control if it goes against your beliefs. But don’t claim to be a pharmacy with no religious ties.

  33. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    “There are several other Red States that make allowances for the pharmacists’ “moral concerns” to get in the way of getting Plan B.”

    Most states allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense for moral reasons. It’s also typically part of pharmacists’ ethical obligations. Contrary to popular belief, pharmacists are not mere pill dispensing machines who do what the doctor tells them to do, but medical professionals with a responsibility to their patients. (Like refusing to give accutane to a teenage girl who admits to being sexually active and refuses protection; or refusing (back in the day) to give sterility-causing drugs to poor people for the sin of being poor; or refusing to give birth-defect causing drugs to pregnant women; or refusing to fill opiate prescriptions for a drug-seeking addict; or refusing to sell sudafed to the local meth manufacturer.)

    The flip side of giving pharmacists this responsibility and the freedom to exercise their professional judgment is that every profession has assholes, and every profession has members whose ethics go against the dominant norms of society. Hopefully we as a society can understand that this is the price we pay for the benefits of being able to exercise our OWN moral judgment.

    On Plan B specifically, the place to complain is to Walgreens corporate. The pharmacists are free to make moral decisions, but the corporation is free to fire them (within certain limits) if their moral decisions (as they relate to doing their job) don’t comport with Walgreens’s company policy. (In the same way that an abortion clinic has no obligation to hire/retain a doctor who refuses to perform abortions.)

    Plan B (and the other one I can never remember the name of) is also available by mail. You can get it at drugstore.com. Ideally, you want to have Plan B in your medicine cabinet for emergencies, so you aren’t stuck trying to locate some place that sells it (or a pharmacy that’s open!) when you need it IN the emergency.

    Perhaps the longer-term solution IS a pill-dispensing machine for safe but potentially controversial OTC drugs like Plan B or even Sudafed. A machine is entirely capable of scanning an ID to verify age and dispensing.

    (And, yeah, Plan B’s not a spermicide, people!)

    • Tmoney02 says:

      @Eyebrows McGee: Or you know they could just put it next to the condoms like the FDA Board wanted to do in the first place…

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @Tmoney02: That would put it in a locked case at my pharmacy, because the teenagers are always shoplifting the condoms. :P

    • Anonymous says:

      @Eyebrows McGee:

      Just a thought- What is the difference between a moral judgment based only on religious beliefs and a moral judgment based on common sense and ethics? Are they the same thing?

      • SinisterMatt says:


        When it all boils down to it, I think that they are. Common sense is more or less “common” to all of us, but ethics and religious belief vary markedly from person to person, but they influence people’s moral decisions all the same.


    • Phexerian says:

      @Eyebrows McGee: Very nice on this post. Explained pretty well. One would assume that professional judgement decisions (eg refusing opiates to drug seeker) are more common than moral objection decisions (plan B refusal)…? I would assume so.

    • mythago says:

      @Eyebrows McGee: Ethical concerns about patient safety are a little different than ethical concerns about how your patient is using the drug. (I’m not aware of any provision of the First Amendment that says what you claim it does, and SCOTUS has made it pretty clear that religious beliefs are not Get Out Of Jail Free card.) Pharmacists are not just hired bozos; they are part of a profession with professional ethics, and they are bound by state laws.

      Are we OK with a pharmacist who refuses to give a nice white couple birth control because “you all need to be breeding more white babies for the Master Race”? How about a pharmacist who will not issue a Medicaid prescription to somebody Jewish because “you people have all the money and should pay for it yourselves”?

  34. katylostherart says:

    if it offends your morals and it can be a common part of your job, get another job. like if you’re a jehovah’s witness you don’t go work for the red cross taking blood donations.

    this is just wrong because they had no idea why she was getting plan b. she could’ve been raped, how is it anyone else’s business if they’re taking the responsible road about children. you can’t bitch about irresponsible people getting pregnant and ending up on welfare and then turn around and drag them through the mud when they try to fix a problem.

    and yes, in this case, pregnancy is obviously a problem.

  35. DeleteThisAccount says:

    @skipjack: when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

    • skipjack says:

      @AngrySicilian: Why? I like playing king of the mountain on the discharge pile.

      • snoop-blog says:

        @skipjack: Let me put it to you this way…

        No one would argue that sex is an adult decision and kids should wait to be adults to have sex. The problem with that statement is that kids are not responsible individuals and therefore many of them have sex before they are adults. You know how many stupid things I or the average person has done when they were younger? You know how many things I did back then I wish I could take back? Shit happens. If you don’t want an abortion than as current law stands you don’t have to get one and vice versa. I don’t think anyone is so lazy they just say “you know what it’s okay if I do get pregnant because I can always get an abortion so why use birth-control.

        If were as easy as you put it, there would be no sex addicts. No rapists. No planned parenthoods etc. the fact is everybody’s sex drive is different. We are all programmed to want to have sex. But if we only had sex when we wanted a child it would be a pretty lousy existence and I can already tell you me and my wife would divorce because I can’t put up with her attitude when she hasn’t “had any” in a while.

        Also eventually we’d end up like Japan being way too overpopulated which a lot of people already feel we are.

  36. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I can’t get over the attitude of these religionista who fight tooth and nail against medical birth control technology. It’s like they’re saying, “Babies are precious gifts of God whose lives must be cherished at all costs, so we want to inflict them upon the careless as punishment for their sexual sins.”

    • katylostherart says:

      @speedwell: on the flip side of that, i don’t personally believe in abortion. i won’t take away someone else’s right to that. but i also don’t personally believe in fertility treatments. if you can’t terminate a pregnancy because god tells you not to then why do you take failure to get pregnant as god saying “try harder”?

      • picardia says:

        @katylostherart: You make no sense. First of all, why do you assume everybody takes infertility as a message from God? Second, what point are you trying to make? Science shouldn’t be applied to reproduction? Well, why apply it to heart disease then? Or to physics? Why bother attempting to understand the natural world, much less influence it for the better? No, let’s all just dwell in total ignorance and passively accept whatever fate deals out. Maybe there’s a message from God in there somewhere. Or not.

        • katiat325 says:

          @picardia: true, like if you get shot…it’s God’s will so just die already. Or if you had a heart attack, and are dying, what right does a doctor have to try and save you if it may be a message from God. I don’t like those God arguments. However, I agree withher that even though I am for choice, I am morally against abortion — not contraceptives. I just think that if people are careless enough to get pregnant in an age where BC if so abundunt and with so many choices, why the heck are ppl getting pregnant? I would probably not do it unless of extreme circumstances, but like her, I won’t stop someone else from doing it to themselves if that is their final decision.

          • johnva says:

            @katiat325: Birth control is not 100% effective. Sometimes people get pregnant even when they are being perfectly responsible. No blanket moral rule is acceptable to me on this, because any such reasoning ignores the circumstances under which each abortion is performed. But basically, if someone thinks they need an abortion, I’d rather they get it than have that person become a PARENT. Funny how people never see having a child as irresponsible.

          • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

            @maztec: Simple health requires prevention. If people thought as carelessly as you do about not needing to prevent health issues, then we’d be living in the Middle Ages with open sewers in the street and half our children dying from preventable childhood diseases.

          • mythago says:

            @katiat325: Because contraception isn’t perfect and neither are people. You are certainly blessed never to have made an understandable mistake in your life and always had everything you bought or used worked perfectly for you, but 99.99% of the rest of the population aren’t quite so fortunate.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @picardia: “Second, what point are you trying to make? Science shouldn’t be applied to reproduction?”

          Common reasons for objecting to fertility treatments include:
          –There are lots of children needing adoption
          –A moral objection to interfering in the beginning (and often ending) of life
          –Medical objections to the level of danger in a non-necessary procedure
          –Medical objections to a treatment that doesn’t treat or fix a problem, but provides a workaround (I’m meh on this one, but there’s some pretty passionate literature out there)
          –Medical objections to the multiple-fetus risks (for both mom and the fetuses)
          –Moral objections to eugenics (some forms of fertility treatments have gotten sophisticated enough to go there)
          –It’s extremely expensive and diverts life-saving medical resources from people in need to serve the lifestyle “wants” of people with money
          –It often ends catastrophically badly: Typically, there’s little or no family/mental health/social screening done. Many (not ALL! Don’t say I said all! I didn’t even say most!) couples who pursue fertility treatments have serious problems: The big two are a halfway broken marriage they’re convinced a baby will fix (frequently the stress of the treatments breaks it for good); or a narcissistic personality issue on the part of one of the parents, where only THEIR genetic offspring will be good enough, and that child will be turned into a mini-me to the point of emotional abuse. An appalling number of these cases end up in court where NOBODY wants the kid now that the marriage is broken. Of course people reproducing by traditional means can have the same problems, but interfering to create the life I suppose creates the responsibility to ask if non-interference would be the better solution here.

          I object to the multiple-fetus risk, which is fairly easily controlled in other countries by only implanting 2 eggs at a time (or whatever), but this raises the expense and number of attempts you must undergo; the eugenics (which has gotten utterly horrifying in some cases); the scarce resources issue (which is a systemic problem, not so much one for individual doctors/practices to solve); and the bad endings, which I don’t really know how you solve.

          • oneandone says:

            @Eyebrows McGee: Thanks for outlining those. I’m extremely pro-choice, but have mixed feelings about fertility treatments & IVF. I definitely wouldn’t want them restricted, or the ability to have them taken away from people who are interested, but the industry makes me feel uneasy. “Non-neccessary” is definitely the way I see it.

            (But I’ve also never been in a situation where IVF or other fertility treatments were even contemplated, so I probably lack sympathy….).

            One thing I’d like to add: Having the option of fertility treatments can also put strain on a couple to ‘keep trying’ until it works, and female friends who’ve been through it said they often feel like a failure, or broken, or as though stopping the attempts is ‘giving up’ even though they physically feel like they can’t keep doing it. It seems like a lot of medical technology – because the option exists, people feel compelled to use it – and with this one, there can be lots of extra judgementalism & guilt & blame involved.

      • econobiker says:

        @katylostherart: If some lawmaker tried to outlaw fertility treatments then the anti-abortion (pro-life) folks would probably freak out. Interesting concept though, and proposed anti-abortion laws should be tied to anti-fertility treatment laws. And throw in a proposal for a law limiting the number of children a family can have for good measure. Maybe then they would get a clue- – -probably not.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @econobiker: many anti-abortion types are also anti-fertility treatment. (If you’re Catholic, you’re doctrinally required to be. Not that that necessarily matters a whole lot, what with 85%ish of American Catholics using birth control (technically verboten) and a significant portion of the not-users actively trying to get pregnant.)

          There’s also a lot of ground covered in “fertility treatments” from shots to extend one’s luteal phase to help the egg implant, which I don’t really know of anyone objecting to, to a couple doing surrogacy with donor sperm and donor eggs so there’s like five “parents” involved!

          But anyway, if we’re talking, like, test tube babies-and-more-complex, a lot of anti-abortion folks are also anti-fertility treatments. Generally moral objections to interfering in the creation of life in either direction. (creating it or destroying it)

          (So remember kids, God doesn’t want you to pull out!)

    • econobiker says:

      @speedwell: It is never about the babies or life- it is about the morals behind someone else’s decision to have sex.

      If it truly was about babies or life, then all the most ardent anti-abortion (and anti-contraceptive- if abortion is outlawed) protesters would adopt children- special needs children, older children, etc…

      I only support any of their legal requests to outlaw abortion when there is a waiting list for adopting children from state care and not one child waiting. Until that day, abortion and contraceptives need to be legal…

      And know that they WILL protest contraceptives if abortion is outlawed…

      • johnva says:

        @econobiker: They already are protesting contraceptives, and they would happily take away everyone else’s right to use them if they could. Trying to interfere with Plan B IS protesting contraceptives, because Plan B is the same drug as normal birth control pills. For the life begins at conception idiots, birth control pills are abortion.

  37. Anonymous says:

    First of all, the woman who initially requested the insurance forms is likely a pharmacy technician. While some techs are good at their jobs, an unfortunately large number are complete morons (having worked with many of them over 6 years). So don’t blame the company for one employee not being familiar with the procedures for a medication that is not as regularly dispensed as you may think. The policies regarding Plan B have changed several times and can vary based on the state, so its very likely that the Technician was confused, ignorant, or just stupid, but does not sound like she was attempting to prevent the purchase.

    The pharmacist is within their right to refuse to dispense a medication, regardless of how you may judge their convictions. If there are other options available and there is no immediate danger, then the pharmacist can refuse treatments like Plan B (please don’t make comparisons to “would they refuse my insulin?” Absolutely not, if your life were in danger. Trust me, they know the laws).

    And the writing down of the license is not a privacy issue. When you purchase a regulated OTC, the pharmacy can be liable if there is a side effect, so keeping records is not uncommon or unwarranted. No violation of privacy has taken place from the recording of legitimate information. If they then used that information or distributed it, yes, that is a violation of practices.

    For all of you getting mad at Walgreens for this, please note that this is not a corporate policy nor a standard practice. If you have a complaint about an individual pharmacy, contact a VP or the district RX supervisor. They take complaints seriously, and it will be followed up on. And remember that just because someone has beliefs that aren’t your own, you shouldn’t ridicule them or act so intolerant. I may agree with the stance that Plan B should be freely available (and I do) but I’ve also seen it abused and used carelessly. Some precaution on all drugs is necessary, but especially those that can have serious side effects if used improperly.

    The title should be “A Walgreens jerked one person around….” I have sold plenty of Plan B in my time, and the only question I ever asked is to see an ID and if they knew how to use it.

  38. Xay says:

    I live in Tallahassee and my local Walgreens pharmacist did not give me any problems. As a matter of fact, I actually forgot my driver’s license at home and they used my insurance information to verify my date of birth.

  39. rte148 says:

    First of all, I’m sorry that you had to go through such BS. Have you tried contacting your state representative’s office, even though they might be opposed to the current law, they have taken an oath to uphold it.

    Also, just because one pharmacist has objections to dispensing it, does that mean they have to have one on hand that doesn’t have objections?

    In any case #@$! Walgreens – I’ve had to deal with them exclusively b/c they’re the only ones who carry a pain med I’ve been on for 10 years, and I still get the stinkeye when I bring a script in for fentanyl (same doc, same rx, same pharmacy for 5 years, every 30 days) and I get treated like a criminal every time.

    • bobpence says:

      @rte148: Are you someplace far from any other pharmacy? Honestly, for something that’s once-a-month, you could split your meds between two pharmacies (and maybe even get a gift card for each transfer you do to the second pharmacy).

      Which is my beef with Plan B complainers. I have yet to see someone stuck in the middle of nowhere and unable to get it by simply going to another drug store a few blocks away, or sometimes even in the same parking lot! (In Northern Virginia, we had a Catholic pharmacy open in the same shopping center as a K-Mart with a pharmacy counter.)

      Even if you don’t believe that life begins at conception, I urge you to treat an embryo, even a zygote (fertilized egg), with more respect than a mere clump of cells. Seeing it as less valuable than the life of the (non)mother or that of an infant or of a fetus that is a few weeks or month older, does not mean it has zero value or deserves zero consideration.

      • Tmoney02 says:

        @bobpence: Which is my beef with Plan B complainers. I have yet to see someone stuck in the middle of nowhere and unable to get it

        Yes because in your personal experience of living in the suburbs you can’t imagine a rural town where there is only one pharmacy so you have a problem with the notion that plan B should be dispensed by all pharmacies.

        I pity your lack of imagination/empathy/experience.

        Also pity your lack of education since Plan B has not been proven to do anything to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg (and does not harm the egg itself), and works the same way as a regular birth control pill. I assume you are against all birth control pills with your current position, otherwise you would be a hypocrite.

      • Ninjanice says:

        @bobpence: That’s not the point. The point is that if someone has a moral affliction to dispensing certain drugs, they can say “I refuse to provide you with this drug. Please try elsewhere”. Instead, the pharmacist decided that they needed adoption literature and a waiting period, which isn’t part of Walgreen’s policy and possibly not part of the law. I know where I live (in Michigan), a pharmacist can refuse to sell a drug to you because they find it morally reprehensible, but they can’t make you jump through hoops to buy the drug.

  40. Katxyz says:


    Right, so what was your original disagreement with jurijrui? If anything, advising that religious people be intelligent when making job considerations and not start a job that can’t finish is both kinder and less of a waste than firing people once they already have the job. You said the suggestion the religious people shouldn’t get jobs that interfere with their beliefs is “asinine,” but agree it’s appropriate to fire people for doing just that. So…shouldn’t religious people just save everyone, including themselves and managers, the hassle, and find another job in the first place?

    • skipjack says:

      @Katxyz: You are adding a whole lot to what you think her comment was.

      Every job will challenge a person in some moral area….so using your logic…no one should really have a job.

      • jenl1625 says:

        @skipjack: Every job will challenge a person in some moral area….
        Really? How is a construction worker challenged morally?

        An accountant may have clients who wish him to engage in unethical practices, but a recognized accounting practice that is completely legal and ethical is unlikely to be prohibited by the accountant’s religion….

        As for law, there are some lawyers who engage in morally dubious practice, but if your religion forbids contingency billing then you can just specialize in an area in which hourly billing is the standard…

        Outside of medicine and medications, what fields of work have situations where certain people have religious beliefs that forbid things that other people find morally acceptable or even morally recommended?

        • skipjack says:

          @jenl1625: Construction worker? Easy, boss says to take shortcuts in building something that may one day endanger the occupants. I’m sure construction companies have never been sued before because they cut corners. Never.

          If you cannot think outside of your mind set to see that every job has moral implications for the employee…i really can’t help you.

  41. Psychosocial says:

    I despise Walgreens for more reasons that I feel like typing right now. Terrible chain run by fools. Reading stories like this have made me realize that there are so many stupid morons in this world, that it has almost become unihabitable. I feel sorry for your bastard children. :(

  42. P_Smith says:

    They were only writing down the license number?

    I wouldn’t put it past such pricks to write down your friend’s address and harass her at her home. It’s happened before to people who go to abortion clinics.

    • SkokieGuy says:

      @P_Smith: Seriously, writing down the license number (or other form of state ID) could be a legal requirement to verify ID check and meeting the age requirement.

  43. nffcnnr says:

    Jeez. I’m surprised they didn’t read scripture and schedule an ultrasound in a few weeks first, too.

  44. maztec says:

    Okay, I’m sorry, but I am confused as to why you would get Plan B as a preventative. Although, I admit, I suffered from that same state of mind at one point and did exactly the same thing.

    Plan B is an “Oops, the condom broke.” You then go and buy it as the backup plan and take it that day. It’s not a, “If we get a little crazy, we’ll use Plan B instead of a condom, that’s okay.”

    Either way, if you are legitimately worried about a broken condom, and are having enough fun with each other, then by all means go out and buy birth control. Skip this whole Plan B nonsense. Its place is not the backup, waiting for when you or the condom mess-up, simply pull it out of the closet. Its place is in the pharmacy, where if you do have an accident or mess up, you have to go request it and get it as needed. At least this is how I see it. And I am sure I will be screamed out for imposing some sense of morality on the issue. But, rather, my concern is simple health and purpose.

    • katiat325 says:

      @maztec: No, I completely understand your point, but I do disagree with some of it. Who knows when the condom will break, where you’ll be when that happens, and how accessible the pharmacy will be to you in the next 3 days. IT’s not a bad idea to have it somewhere in the house for the extreme case, or at the very least, if there are roommates that have sex and something happens, they’ll have a friend with plan B. No girl in her right mind would use that as a normal BC — the feeling you get isn’t exactly great in the 24 hrs after you take it. Also, it’s possible that people can run out of condoms and the stores in the area are closed and by the time you drive out to an open store and back, mood’s gone, no fun, and both are frustrated.

      Also, for young college couples, just BC is probably not enough as it doesn’t protect you from STDs. College (and younger and older people too) boys and girls can have a number of partners in a short amount of time. That makes condoms a must, and a great thing to have the EC pill available to take within the 1st hour of a broken condom. I doubt they’ll be having sex as the pharmacy opnes up, and pharmacies aren’t exactly 24 hr.

      • JustThatGuy3 says:


        One of the reasons people decide to keep plan B on hand is just the sort of garbage this story discusses – don’t want to have to go pharmacy-hopping if you actually need it, because time can be of the essence.

    • larkknot says:

      @maztec: I’ve had a mishap where I wasn’t having penetrative sex and some sperm…ended up where it shouldn’t have been. That was back when Plan B required a prescription – and trust me, it’s a lot more embarassing having to explain to your regular gyno why you need it than just telling a pharmacist.

      • mythago says:

        @larkknot: I have a ten-year-old as a direct result of that kind of mishap. Luckily, we were fine with another child and he was a happy surprise rather than an unwanted pregnancy – but that wouldn’t be the case for everybody.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @maztec: “Plan B is an “Oops, the condom broke.” You then go and buy it as the backup plan and take it that day.”

      Many ob/gyns recommend you have it on hand for the emergencies, so that you’re not running around at 3 a.m. looking for an open pharmacy that dispenses. (Before Plan B was available, many ob/gyns would get you an extra pack of BC pills, which can be used as a morning-after pill when you take a high enough dose of active pills. Some inserts even tell you what that dose is, tho typically it’s an off-label use.)

      Not everyone who’s sexually active is able to use chemical birth control; they may be stuck with barrier methods. Chemical birth control can have problems, too — you might skip a dose, you might be on antibiotics, you might forget to refill, whatever.

      It’s not irresponsible to have the emergency backup on hand in case the emergency DOES occur. I’ll keep the fire extinguisher in the kitchen, despite the fact that I have absolutely no *intention* of being so careless as to set the kitchen on fire. :)

      And while I share the general concern of people misusing emergency interventions as routine treatment, my impression is that taking Plan B ONCE would be enough to convince most people it’s not a good idea to use it as a routine thing instead of just for emergencies. High dose hormones –> much puking. (Imagine taking it hung over, ugh.)

  45. Anonymous says:

    In Louisiana (central LA at that) we got Plan B in Pineville, a Pentecostal hotspot and dry parish/county, at 10:00 p.m. with no hassle from a friendly pharmacist. No papers, ID, whatever.

    In Alexandria, LA, all the CVS stores were “sold out” of Plan B. I do not if that was a real reason…it was not the day after Prom.

    Now the cramps that came along with the pill were awful for my girlfriend.

  46. pwnstar182 says:

    Fun stuff. I use to work at a Walgreens pharmacy in Arkansas and this is one sour subject. In Arkansas, it is up to the discretion of the PHARMACIST on duty if he or she would allow customers to purchase Plan B. What really pissed me off was the fact that almost all the technicians/cashiers I worked with considered the choice up to them rather than the customer and pharmacist. Their method of forcing their views on customers was unacceptable and was a huge factor in why I quit and advise anyone and everyone to go somewhere else.

    What makes my day is the fact that Plan B is just overpriced birth control pills (forget which one it was but it is nothing special). So in essence if their uncomfortable selling Plan B then any B.C. should be evil as well, but ignorance always prevails even in a pharmacy!

    • JustThatGuy3 says:


      Frankly, the people who object to dispensing plan B would be very happy to no longer dispense any other form of BC as well.

      • econobiker says:

        @JustThatGuy3: Then they also needed to stop selling makeup in the store, except to married women, since that encourages sex – in a round about way…

      • johnva says:

        @JustThatGuy3: That is their ultimate goal. All sex is supposed to be solely under the control of religious law, according to them. But it’s amazing how many of them are so stupid that they think Plan B is somehow morally worse than other hormonal BC. Are they ignorant enough to think that fertilization happens during sex or something? I can’t fathom it, because I can’t imagine being that stupid.

        • SinisterMatt says:


          Just curious: who is this “they” you are speaking of?

          I would point out that the subject of birth control and Plan B varies from religious person to religious person, as I am sure you are aware. I’m not sure that there is some “vast right wing conspiracy” trying to implement Christian sharia law here in the U.S.


    • larkknot says:

      @pwnstar182: My university pharmacy AND gyno exam rooms have handy charts on the walls detailing all the brands of birth control AND their “emergency contraception” dosage. You take 2-6 of the individual pills (2 for the older super-high estrogen content, 4ish for most, 6 for some of the low-dose ones) to get the equivalent of a dose of Plan B. Also, is anyone else’s submit button hiding behind the border of the submission box?

      • Phexerian says:

        @larkknot: I believe taking the birth control pills for emergency contraceptive use is called the Yutze Method.

        -3rd Year PharmD/MBA Candidate

  47. LauraNOLA says:

    I had a problem a few weeks ago purchasing Plan B from Walgreens. I sent a tip email to Jezebel in case they were interested and this is what it said. I eventually got sent a $10 gift card from the store manager for my troubles.

    This was in New Orleans. It is, of course, the same store that refused to sell me cigarettes because my license expired a few weeks prior.

    “Last week, I sent my boyfriend to Walgreens to purchase Plan B for me, because I was unable to leave work and wanted to take it as soon as possible. He was turned away by the pharmacist, who told him that they did not sell Plan B to men at all. He thought that was strange but didn’t question it.

    I was PISSED and forced to wait another 6 hours before I got off of work to be able to go pick it up.

    Of course, I did a little research and found out that the FDA has approved it for sale to both men and women over the age of 18. I sent them a letter (copied below), asking whether or not it is company policy or a rogue (or mistaken) employee.

    The district manager got back to me very (very, very) quickly to apologize and to let me know that they do in fact sell Plan B to men, and that they would make sure that the store employees would be informed of this.”

  48. Parting says:

    Morals, my @ss. Hypocrisy should be exercised on your own time. Or they should get a different job. Or move to Saudi Arabia, where ”religious morals” are the law.

  49. RussTheConsumerist says:

    A loved one of mine recently went into a Walgreens in Ridgeland, MS to purchase plan B. Anyhow, the experience was very easy and there were zero problems.

    They asked for ID, but only to verify her age. She was asked if she knew how to take it and left. Don’t know if this makes a difference, but the pharmD was a younger lady. She was very sympathetic.

  50. bravo369 says:

    I can understand why a pharmacist would not take Plan B themselves because of religious beliefs but what does that have to do with dispensing it to others. It’s your job. I think any pharmacist that does not dispense a prescription should be fired. If the pharmacist is so against plan B then I think it would be great for a person who was denied the pill to sue the pharmacist to help incur the cost of the child. It would never happen but I wonder how many pharmacists would dispense it then if they knew that they can be hit up with a lawsuit to cover something like child support.

    • Phexerian says:

      @bravo369: “I think any pharmacist that does not dispense a prescription should be fired.”

      There are other reasons for refusing drugs besides moral objections. Some of these reasons include drug interactions and drug seekers. Pharmacists are allowed to use professional judgment in refusing drugs to people. You can’t just say they all pharmacists should be fired for refusing to give someone drugs. We do more than just count and sell pills and we surely don’t work for the physician.

      -3rd Year PharmD/MBA Candidate

      • bravo369 says:

        @Phexerian: Yes they should be fired for refusing a prescription based upon a moral objection. It’s one thing to refuse because interactions…that has happened to my father. That’s fine because you are looking out for the patient however refusing plan B because you think it’s wrong is not the same as safety precautions due to drug interactions.

        • LucyTuzy says:

          @bravo369: To play devil’s advocate, you could argue that they are looking out for you in the eyes of Christ by not dispensing Plan B. Regardless, it’s a slippery slope. Friends, this is why we separate church and state.

        • Phexerian says:

          @bravo369: Firing based on moral objection is up to the discretion of the employer. If it was my pharmacy I personally would fire them as I agree. The reason I was arguing this was because of your statement..,

          “I think any pharmacist that does not dispense a prescription should be fired.”

          which is a blanket statement and does not specify as to the refusal of medicine. But you cleared that up in your post. =)

  51. kryrinn says:

    -Plan B is not subject to ID requirements other than age, anywhere. You write an ID number for Sudafed because you need to track people buying for meth. Not so with Plan B.
    -Plan B usually costs $20-55. You can also just take multiples of regular BC pills, the chart to tell you how many is:
    -I did a study for an internship in a midwest upper-middle-class suburban county. Worst place: CVS and Wal-Mart.
    -It is against Walgreen’s corporate policy to refuse Plan B and not give another option/pharmacy where it can be obtained.
    -The adoption material could be considered “emotional harassment”
    -Waiting period is crap/not legal.
    -Bush & Co. are trying to restrict EC/Abortion with “moral nondiscrimination” bullshit, again. Go to http://www.ppaction.org for more info.
    -The best option is to complain to the State pharmacy board, for malpractice and emotional harassment, and also to Walgreen’s corporate. Things like this should not be tolerated!

    Lastly, this happens nationally on a daily basis.

  52. Anonymous says:

    I am an assistant manager for Walgreen’s in South Florida and I can guarantee you that would NEVER happen down here. It looks to me that taken into consideration of the location and the way of living over there – that it was the pharmacists who are to blame for the hassle and inconvenience’s caused and not the company. So I can’t say blaming Walgreen’s is fair. However as someone suggested I would call your Walgreen’s district office and report the unnecessary measures. As far as the ID goes, it’s sometimes required when buying anything that that is strictly 18+ so I would not get so offended by that, but making you wait an hour is really what’s unnecessary. I hope that helps shed some light on the situation and hope that some people’s ignorance doesn’t discourage you from shopping at Walgreens.

  53. Anonymous says:

    I worked for Walgreens for several years both in IL and Kansas. This isn’t company policy so I would call the Customer Relations department listed below. Walgreens takes these complaints very seriously and will teach this pharm. a lesson.

    Consumer Relations Contact Information

    Phone: toll-free (800) 925-4733
    7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time, Monday thru Friday

    Address: Walgreen Company Consumer Relations
    200 Wilmot Road, Mail Stop #2273
    Deerfield, IL 60015

  54. Anonymous says:

    I had the same problem with a Walgreen’s in St. Louis. Not only did THREE pharmacy employees claim not to know what I was talking about, one of those three actually yelled to someone in the store that “this girl needs the morning after pill!” and they made a big deal out of photocopying my license.

  55. amie.k says:

    I got a username just to comment on this story. I had a very similar experience at Walgreens. I waited in line for awhile, and the guy behind the counter refused to tell me if they sold Plan B and loudly told me that if I didn’t have a ring on my finger, I shouldn’t have engaged in premarital sex. When I started to leave, he yelled “WE DON’T CARRY PLAN B” loudly after me. I was furious, and quite honestly, in tears. It made me never want to shop in a Walgreen’s again.

    It took a ton of bravery to go across the street to the CVS to ask for it, and the woman there was very polite and quick about it. I know they have to ask for a drivers license, because in my state you have to be over 18 to get it without a prescription, so she did that but only glanced quickly. She was very quiet and polite, and, being in the emotional state I was in at the time, I really appreciated it.

    I feel so bad for women who live in areas where they can’t just drive to a different pharmacy. I don’t know what I would have done.

  56. Anonymous says:

    That’s really odd – I live in Oxford, MS too – and my girlfriend and I have used (and purchased) Plan B from this very pharmacy on multiple occasions over the past couple of years.
    I know one of the Pharmacists personally (hell, he’s my bartender at the local drinking hole) and I just can’t imagine this being him we’re talking about…

    Oxford is very liberal – I suspect this was an isolated incident and won’t be repeated…I hope.

  57. Anonymous says:

    So, your girlfriend goes into a private business with the attitude that she “has a right to” a product, she goes in with a preconceived notion that the employees there will judge her, she refuses to do what the clerk asked, and then she rushed the pharmacist?

    Maybe I’m missing something, but by the tone of your post you indicate that everyone in the state is some sort of crazed right winger out to strip you of all your rights. Perhaps if your girlfriend was more friendly, and the both of you where less hostile to people who do not hold the same beliefs as you, you would find people much more friendly and open to you.

    I traveled for a living for many years all over the southern states, and never once had a problem when purchasing alcohol, contraceptives, or anything else of that nature. If you try respect and tolerance first, then perhaps you won’t have nearly so much to feel persecuted about.

    Just my 2 cents…

  58. femaleconsumerist says:

    I had a professor who once started a law suit against a pharmacy for refusing to sell her Plan B. The law now is all pharmacies are REQUIRED to sell Plan B and if they have moral/religious problems with selling it, they must pull a stock boy/girl from the store floor if they have to, and have them sell it.

    • humphrmi says:

      @femaleconsumerist: You know, I was going to to ask about this … I thought that the moral objections laws applied only to meds that have to be sold by a pharmacist, if Plan B is OTC, can’t anyone in the store sell it? Sounds like a pharmacist has his panties in a twist to me.

      • Phexerian says:

        @humphrmi: Anyone person working in the pharmacy, probably store, can sell Plan B as long as the buyer is over the age of 18.

        -3rd Year PharmD/MBA Candidate

    • SinisterMatt says:


      That’s what I was wondering. If the pharmacist had a problem with selling it on moral grounds, then why did he not step aside and let one of his colleagues take care of it?


  59. Anonymous says:

    I once bought Plan B for a friend (nono, really, a friend, promise). I first went to Walgreens. While the store was out, the pharmacist was SUPER helpful. She called several other pharmacies for me, found one that was open and stocked. That was a CVS, the guy wouldn’t sell it to me (I’m a dude). The girl who needed it, of course, was freaking out. So, I had to wake another friend and have her come and pretend to be the person in need of the medicine. I then called the Walgreens to see if some of the stories the CVS technician told me were true, and she spend 20 minutes on the phone with me explaining the state laws (in Georgia) and was very helpful overall.

    CVS sent me an official letter of apology. I love sticking it to the man.

  60. sparksinner says:

    Step 1: get the funk out of Oxford, MS. Story could have ended right there.

    Step 2: n/a

  61. VRWC says:

    Hmm… I don’t recall reading about a right to contraception in the Constitution. But let’s shelve that issue for a minute.

    I guess you know, now, how it feels when all those self-righteous liberal blue-staters go all politically correct on speech, i.e. speech is free unless you’re voicing an opinion that the liberals don’t agree with.

    So I have to ask — how does it feel, bee-atch? Sucks, doesn’t it? Maybe this’ll make you think twice before you try to tell conservatives how to act/speak/think? Because don’t forget, they have the same “rights” that you do.

  62. ForrestWhitakersLazyEye says:

    I got carded for condoms at Walgreens once. Hows that for birth control? It was about 7 years ago, so I was 16. I don’t remember if the cashier let me buy them or not, but I was floored.

  63. fakerjohn says:

    I bought Plan B at Walgreen’s in ultra-liberal Silver Spring, Maryland, and here is my anecdote:

    I am a guy. I walked into Walgreen’s, said, “I would like to buy Plan B Emergency Contraception.”

    He said, “OK.” He didn’t ask to see my ID. He got the pills right away and charged me (I think) $50.

    I asked him, “I don’t suppose insurance covers this?” He said, “no.”

    I walked out and gave the pills to my girlfriend and she thanked me.

    I can’t imagine why they asked your girlfriend for proof of insurance when the guy indicated to me that “no” insurance would cover it. Also, this took me no time. I would consider that the individual pharmacist at the Walgreen’s in this post was the culprit of non-service. Perhaps they were either ignorant and tied to routine or they just didn’t ant to be helpful to someone they disagreed with politically. I would think that Walgreen’s would have been previously exposed if they had purposefully taught pharmacists to give non-service on Plan B.

  64. Anonymous says:

    After a crazy night I needed to get Plan B a couple weeks ago. I also went to Walgreen’s, here in Washington state, and didn’t have any trouble. I’m a guy, so maybe that’s it… and the pharmacist was a hip-looking young gal, so maybe she didn’t bother with their policy of harrassment… but I had zero trouble. Showed my ID and that was it.

    The funny thing is that the girl I was getting it for could have been under 18! She’s 24, as am I… but she could have just as easily been a minor. Strange.

  65. AnonymousRachel says:

    This goes for Michael and his girlfriend, and anyone else reading this article: Don’t ever let a pharmacist, a pharmacy technician, or a pharmacy clerk tell you that you must show your driver’s license, insurance card, social security card, etc. to purchase Plan B. This is absolutely NOT LEGAL in any circumstance, in any state, “conscience clause” or no. I have worked in a pharmacy for nine years and am about to graduate with a PharmD, and I have never encountered any evidence that supports the legality of any of those practices.

    • AnonymousRachel says:

      @AnonymousRachel: I’m amending my comment to say that you must show your driver’s license or other proof of age to purchase Plan B without a prescription, but it is never appropriate (or legal) for the pharmacy to document information like your driver’s license number, social security number, etc.

    • Tmoney02 says:

      @AnonymousRachel: Showing drivers license might be necessary to prove age of 18+. As long as you have something official to prove your 18 you can use it. Passport, birth certificate, etc.

  66. Anonymous says:

    For a while, when you bought Plan B in Canada, pharmacists would a) show ID, b) require that you undergo a “counseling” session with a pharmacist (not about abortion, just about the drug’s possible side-effects and c), most annoyingly, ask that you let them file your name, health insurance info & contact information.

    When faced with that scenario, I asked if I would be refused the drug if I wouldn’t consent to them putting my information on file. The pharmacist stammered a bit but said that no, they wouldn’t refuse to sell me the drug; I said fine, I refuse to give you that information; and I got my meds.

    Immediately after that, the media got hold of the “keeping personal information” on file story, there was a bally-hoo, and pharmacists no longer keep any information about over-the-counter drug buyers on file.

    Looks like it’s time the media in the States raised a bally-hoo, too.

  67. Anonymous says:

    My guess is that MS has all sorts of prohibitive laws, and that the pharmacy was just trying to follow the rules. Hopefully Michael or his girlfriend took their complaint to the corporate HQ so that this doesn’t happen to other people…

  68. CMU_Bueller says:

    Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion. I should not be subject to your values when attempting to purchase a product or service.

  69. Anonymous says:

    as a current walgreens pharmacist the official corporate policy is to sell the product to any individual over the age of 18–id is required if the age is in question. if the specific employee has moral issues with selling the product another employee must be asked to complete the sale. this should be done discretely. the employee may not question or advise you on any issue (ie adoption, pregnancy alternatives, etc) unless you ask to speak to the pharmacist about the proper procedure of taking the medication. the employee should be punished. i would advise contacting the local district office and making an official complaint. the contact information can be given to you by the store management or online at walgreens.com

  70. Anonymous says:

    This is the biggest bunch of BS I’ve ever read.
    First: I’m a Senior Tech (and have been for a few years) at a Walgreens. I’m in Pharmacy school and I’ve gained invaluable experience working there.
    Second: “Michael” or his girlfriend obviously had some sort of axe to grind. Walgreens has NO policy that is more restrictive than any state laws. We don’t make you wait and we would be written up if we took down your drivers license number.
    Our policy states that if the employee has a moral objection they have to call another employee or manager to complete the sale WITHOUT DELAY OR EMBARASSMENT TO THE CUSTOMER. This shows the most respect for EVERYONE’S beliefs and views.
    In fact I find another part of our policy a bit TOO liberal. If a guy comes in to buy Plan B we can only check HIS ID. We CANNOT ask who he’s buying it for or ask for the girl’s ID. THE GIRL COULD BE 12 and we have to sell it if the purchaser is over 18.

    Also to the idiot who said go to Canada to buy your drugs: A recent study (amongst many others) showed that Canadians pay an average of 30% more for their drugs than Americans.

    All you idiots with a cause (abortion rights) hate it when people express a different view from your own. Let people have whatever moral beliefs they want to have. You are one of the most intolerant bunch of fools ever to infect the human race. Your hypocrisy is sickening.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      If a guy comes in to buy Plan B we can only check HIS ID. We CANNOT ask who he’s buying it for or ask for the girl’s ID.

      @SebastianMus: How is it any of your business who he’s buying it for?

      • Phexerian says:

        @Rectilinear Propagation: Well, the problem is, is that Plan B is a restricted item. More specifically, restricted by age. So (to me at least) it doesn’t seem out of line to require the USER of the drug to show she is over the required age. However, most states (if not all) are set up to where the seller does not require the USER of the drug to provide proof of age; just the BUYER.

        I understand the point of view of consumer privacy (and I firmly believe in privacy), but this is also a drug that is being put into ones body. Certainly a pharmacist could actually refuse to sell this drug if the buyer said it was for someone who was age 14 or 15. Even if the buyer was over the age of 18.

        -3rd Year PharmD/MBA Candidate

    • Phexerian says:

      @SebastianMus: “A recent study (amongst many others) showed that Canadians pay an average of 30% more for their drugs than Americans.”

      Please give links so such studies. I can also site off random sentences and say there are many studies out there as well. If I remember correctly, I have also heard of studies that say Canadian drugs are cheaper per out of pocket expense.

      “All you idiots with a cause (abortion rights) hate it when people express a different view from your own.”

      Blanket statement. I am for pro abortion rights but certainly respect (if not at least civil to) MOST other views. (However, regarding this topic, I am sure there are many people who don’t respect the anti abortion view in this because of the logic and reasoning (religious views) behind it.) Besides, there is nothing wrong with them “hating” or rather disagreeing with another persons views. This is what creates debate, among other things.

      “You are one of the most intolerant bunch of fools ever to infect the human race. Your hypocrisy is sickening. “

      Generally people seem to feel that the religious zealots and many others who are anti abortion are actually intolerant. While many pro abortion people are willing to compromise and give outs (such as banning abortion but allowing it in such circumstances such as a woman being impregnated via rape), I have found that just about every anti abortion person I have ever talked to on this issue is not willing to compromise at all. Thus, I find it hard to swallow your comment on that.

      -3rd Year PharmD/MBA Candidate

  71. HogwartsAlum says:

    I live in the Bible Belt, and I’m sick of the people who try to run my life with their religion. I’m fine with you believing whatever you want to believe, but leave me out of it!

    If someone refused to sell me Plan B, I would simply inform the store manager that I refuse to buy anything from their store ever again. There’s my freedom of choice right there. Ha!

  72. erytheis says:

    I think the issue would be solved if the stores had to have signs as big as the name of the store outside saying that the pharmacist on duty does not fulfill all aspects of his/her job. That way people would have fair warning about the kind of person that was behind the counter. (I think it is a good idea for the pharmacist to warn about side effects and possible drug interactions, but that is why they go to school and we don’t have just anyone behind the counter.)

  73. bohemian says:

    Everyone fed up with this needs to do one thing after January 20th. Complain to the FDA and demand they make this TOTALLY over the counter with no age rules.
    Then it can be sold in vending machines, at convenience stores and on the open store shelves outside of the hands of obnoxious religious zealots.

  74. Anonymous says:

    I work as a tech (pharmacy student) at a Walgreens in Florida. As long as the person that requests the pill has her ID and is over 18. We sell it and just ask if there is any questions about it. THAT’S IT.

    But then again I don’t speak for every Walgreens, for the most part they are all ran the same. But little things like that might change from one location to the next one that is 2 miles away. Pharmacist play a huge roll in that factor and yes I agree with all that scream “Do your job and keep your religion out of it”

    I personally would put in a complaint about it, there should be a number to call on the receipt or email corporate about it. It gets sent to the store manager and they review it.

    I’m sorry it happened to you, again.. it varies so much it’s hard to apoligize to the numerous people that have any kind of issue.

  75. Anonymous says:

    Let me make sure I have the facts straight.
    Young woman asks for a medication that may be covered by insurance and is age restricted.

    Young lady gets pissy when asked her insurance information.
    Young lady then gets pissy being made to wait for a medication to be dispensed by the pharmacist.
    Then the young lady gets pissy when the pharmacist covers his ass on the age verification by logging the DL number.

    Does that about sum it up? If this is all it takes to get this young lady upset, please stock up on the Plan B, you don’t need children.

  76. Anonymous says:

    I bought Plan B from Walmart when I was in a pinch because it was cheapest. I live in Indiana (a very republican/right to life state) and I had absolutely NO trouble buying it. I simply had to show my ID and fork over 25 dollars.

  77. lintacious says:

    Interestingly enough, I had the exact OPPOSITE experience at a Planned Parenthood in PA.

    I went just because I wanted to be extra careful and wasn’t even sure it was necessary. I tried to ask the nurse if she thought I really needed it but she basically avoided my questions and just handed me the pill package. I didn’t need to show any id at all (as is the standard at PP), just had to fill out a patient/consent form.

    So, other than the waiting room time, it really was an easy peasy process.

  78. chemicalx9 says:

    too bad one or two goofy pharmacists make the rest of us look bad. i have always sold as long as the legal requirements are met. for every one pharmacist that has a problem there are thousands of other that take care of the patient.

  79. grumpygirl says:

    Why stop at contraception? Why not let pharmacists and pharmacy technicians refuse to sell high blood pressure drugs? After all, people with high blood pressure do it to themselves with their unhealthy lifestyle choices, right? We could force them to have a waiting period for them to see if they will change their unhealthy behaviors…

    You know, this Playing God routine could be a heck of a lot of fun!

  80. Anonymous says:

    I have purchased plan B from a Walgreen’s pharmacy in Oregon, and it was nothing but a professional transaction. The pharmacist made the process very discreet and easy, and there was no “waiting period”. I wouldn’t blame Walgreen’s, blame people letting their religious beliefs interfere with how they do their job.

  81. Meathamper says:

    What? That’s just nuts. Plan B should be available to anyone who needs it, period. Of course, them religious folk will stone me for saying that…

  82. missbheave (is not convinced) says:

    This happened in downtown Chicago–pharmacists at CVS and Walgreens were refusing to dispense the plan b pill on the grounds that it was tantamount to abortion. Remember, these people have advanced SCIENCE degrees, and are “experts” in pharmaceuticals, but they apparently don’t understand how the plan b pill works.

    They were, however, more than happy to dispense Viagra though, saying “oh sure, I dispense Viagra–I’ve helped plenty of men get lucky!”

  83. Anonymous says:

    I work for walgreens, Although they were rude, anything sold from behind the counter of pharmacy that isn’t a prescription needs to be written out in a book with the customers information. This does not excuse any rudeness on the staff’s part and it should have been very hassle free, just a few minutes of signing out the form and then whatever the wait time is to get the pills.

  84. xnihilx says:

    I just went to Walgreens in NW Indiana to get Plan B last week (missed pills, broken you know what, me being extra paranoid about the bad combinations of events) Walked out of there with absolutely no problem. It was even ten minutes to the pharmacy closing and they were nothing but helpful even when I asked a few questions. This seems like a local store level problem. That just sucks. Especially the waiting since you’re supposed to take it as soon as possible.

  85. Anonymous says:

    What’s next? Are they going to refuse to sell beer & wine to unmarried young people since that could lead to fornication. I would refuse to sell makeup to men or allow a mother to buy makeup for her 7 year old. Better take those Maxim magazines off the rack too. Don’t sell Freeze-Away to gays because they might use it to remove the genital warts that God put on them.

  86. juri squared says:

    @rainbowsandkittens: Oh, I totally understand. My views on women’s reproductive rights became much stronger after I got pregnant, too. I’m grateful my husband and I had the choice to have a baby when we felt we were ready.

    On that note, here’s another reason that moral issues don’t stand in the case of prescribing birth control. I’m on birth control pills in order to prevent a recurrence of ovarian cysts, not to prevent pregnancy. In fact, I am taking another medication that actually negates the “birth control” part of the birth control. I don’t need a self-righteous pharmacist telling me that I’m immoral and wrong for getting the pill when I’m not using it for birth control in the first place.

  87. rhinestonedarling says:

    THIS HAPPENED TO ME TOO! AT THE SAME WALGREENS! No local family pharmacies even carry it.

    I ended up going to Super D instead. Michael, take your girlfriend to Super D.

  88. skipjack says:

    @undefined: Wow, you have a view of rights that doesn’t exist. I suppose you get ticked off when you see a no shirt, no shoes, no service sign. They are imposing their beliefs upon you and somehow illogically violating yours. Asinine.

    An employee has every right not to do a function of their job…the employer also has every right to punish the employee for not doing their job function which has nothing to do with discrimination.

  89. Anonymous says:

    I’m with the National Women’s Law Center in Washington DC, and we do a lot of work to help people who are hassled by pharmacists when they are trying to purchase contraception, including Plan B.

    I just wanted to answer Michael’s questions, clarify a few things, and offer our assistance.

    First, Mississippi does have a law that allows pharmacists and pharmacies to refuse to dispense any drug for any reason. It is one of only four states with a law like that. On the positive side, 14 states have laws that help individuals get access to medication. See our map at http://www.nwlc.org/pdf/PharmacyRefusalPoliciesJanuary2008.pdf.

    But MS’s law does not mean the pharmacist can impose a waiting period or give out propaganda. And the requirements for sale of Plan B require only that the individual (male or female over 18) show an ID – pharmacists should not be taking down anyone’s information when they buy Plan B.

    So what can Michael and his girlfriend or someone in a similar situation do?

    First, contact Walgreen’s headquarters. Walgreens actually has a good policy on the issue of refusals. We have contacted headquarters in the past when a person was refused or when pharmacy staff did something they weren’t supposed to do when selling Plan B. Walgreens has disciplined pharmacists and retrained pharmacy staff, even in red states. They appreciate being made aware when there’s a problem and customers are being hassled.

    Second, consider filing a complaint with the state pharmacy board. It sounds as if the pharmacist engaged in unprofessional conduct by imposing a waiting period and giving propaganda – the pharmacy board might impose discipline for that.

    If Michael or his girlfriend or anyone else reading this who has faced problems is interested in pursuing one of those options, you can contact us at info@nwlc.org or (202) 588-5180. We would be happy to help (and you can even remain anonymous).

    • grumpygirl says:

      @AbelJibsheet: So besides Mississippi, which are the other 3 states with this sort of law? It’s very important to know where not to move, take a vacation, or support businesses who are based in such places.

  90. macdude22 says:

    I hate Windows, HATE, let me tell you. It’s my job to Fix Windows based computers at work. Guess what. I do my F***king job. If your job is to dispense legal medication, F***king do your job your get your ass handed to you on a platter. There’s plenty o folks that will be willing to actually perform your job functions.

  91. monkeytown says:

    Without going into the religious viewpoint on it, I would like to point out one thing.

    If it is in stock, the store expects someone to buy it.

    Why on earth would they even stock it if they are so all-fired opposed to selling it?

  92. North of 49 says:

    I’d like to see lawsuits from women who were scripted plan B or who went to places where they could get it over the counter and were denied and then got pregnant. Wouldn’t the pharmacist be then responsible for 9 months+ of medical treatment for the woman, and then at least 18 years of raising a child and college?

    That’s what I’d do if a pharmacist refused to give me plan B – write down their full name and sue them and the store!

  93. purx says:

    I didn’t read through all the comments but I would just like to state that I am a Pharmacist for Walgreen’s in Texas and the company has no policies in any way to hamper the sales of Plan B. Federal Law requires that we see an ID to prove that you are over 18 but nothing should be logged from said ID.
    Walgreens’ does allow its Pharmacists to refuse sales but you can only do so if you will personally provide the customer with another option for getting the medication i.e. “the other Pharmacist comes in at two and you can get it then” or “I can call another local Pharmacy to see if they have it.”

    • grumpygirl says:

      @purx: Do the Walgreen’s in all states allow their pharmacists to pick and choose what part of their jobs they want to perform or is it just in Texas and Mississippi?

  94. Anonymous says:

    Plan B isn’t a spermicide, it’s hormonal, like the birth control pill. It interferes with pregnancy in the same way as the Pill, which includes the potential to keep a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterine wall, hence a concern from fundamentalists about this being an abortion (RU-486, the abortion pill, is totally different).

  95. Anonymous says:

    I am opposed to the witholding of birth control for moral reasons, but is it possible that the pharmacy was busy and there was a wait to get the product? I used to work as a pharmacy tech and people would always flip out on us for having to wait for their medicine but at certain times of the day you get slammed.

  96. Anonymous says:

    First of all, I’d like to know what date this ALLEGEDLY happened. I work at Walgreens, and I believe that either this is a bunch of BS or someone interpreted the interaction wrongly. As far as “antiabortion literature” WE DO NOT HAVE ANY!!!!!! and to distribute the antiabortion literature (that we don’t have) would indeed be wrong. Secondly, if the couple was so educated, they would have known that Plan B IS NOT SPERMICIDE, it has no effect on sperm what so ever!!!! My next comment is to all the other comments on lawsuit…. Being not only an employee of Walgreens (and yes I work in the pharmacy), you might also want to think about a slander lawsuit!!!! And as far as the comment about “what do you expect in Mississippi?” I am from Mississippi (the Mississippi Delta noneteless) born and raised AND PROUD OF IT!!!!!!! Yes, Mississippi and the South in general might be on the conservative side, but at least we know how to say “Hi, how are you today?” to perfect strangers, and use words such as “ma’am” and “sir.” And FYI, not everyone in the South is backwards and uneducated!!! For example, I am not your sterotypical Southerner. I personally would not use Plan B, however, I have no problem selling it. And, I would have no problem if my brother bought it for his girlfriend or if my cousin, best friend, etc etc used it. Just as it was Michael and his girlfriend’s personal choice to use it, it is my personal choice not to use it. As far as all of the other “sterotypical Southerner” beliefs…. not everyone from the south is an uneducated, racist hick redneck. I am educated (I have a high school diploma, a Bachelor’s degree, and I am currently working on another), and for the most part I make educated decisions. I have no problem with gay marriage or Barack Obama as my new president. And the South is not as “segregated” and “racist” and most people think. Yes, there are some narrow-minded, stupid, racist people in the world, but not all of them live in the South!!!!! I have many friends that are outside my race, probably as many or more outside my race. So in closing, watch what you say about Mississippi!!!! And, if this incident indeed happened exactly the way it was portrayed (which I do not believe happened) then disciplinary action indeed needs to take place within Walgreens.

  97. battra92 says:

    I’m finding it funny just how heated this whole topic is. You’d think the pharmacist pulled a Mr. Gower.

  98. nidolke says:

    I’m a pharmacist who is morally against insulin. Sorry diabetics! I won’t be giving you any.

  99. Anonymous says:

    OK first of all I work at that Walgreen’s in oxford. This NEVER HAPPENED. The story is completely fabricated. We encourage people to get Plan B. I have worked there for 3 years and this has never occurred. A patient has never had to wait an hour for PLAN B or been harassed. We even sell it through the drive through. We ask for your driver’s license to verify the patient is over the age of 18. We enter the date of birth into the computer. That is all. We do not record any information into the computer regarding a license number. Only the date of birth. To Jessica, I would like specific dates of when this incident occurred. Thanks

    A worker

    • Anonymous says:

      @HamlinBabblebox: I too work at this Walgreens in Oxford. This story is a COMPLETE fabrication. The ONLY literature in the pharmacy is related to diabetes or heart disease. Most likely what happened is the girl tried to show her university issued student ID that has no date of birth on it (obviously we can’t take those). We ask for is a state issued ID (DL, passport, etc.). To sell the plan B, we scan the barcode on the box of Plan B, the register asks us to confirm the patient is over 18, we hit enter, and the total is $44.93 after tax. That’s right I know that number by heart. We’re in a college town here, and we go through a good bit of plan B each day! We would never give someone a runaround. In fact if her boo is over 18, he can show his ID, we sell it to him, and what he does with it is his own business.

      All of the people that work at this pharmacy have the patients’ best interests in mind. Sometimes we see some crazy stuff back there, so believe me selling plan B is NOT a big deal.

  100. Paperclippe says:

    You know what, I’ve had exactly the opposite experience obtaining Plan B from Walgreens, but then, I’m from PA. My boyfriend went in and purchased it for me while I was at work and they didn’t even ask him for ID. I think this has more to do with the people who on the store than Walgreens itself.

  101. Anonymous says:

    I work for a Walgreens pharmacy as a technician, and this person should complain to corporate about this. This is a personal thing with that tech and that pharmacist and they need to lose their jobs over this. I work in Alabama, and I never give anyone a hard time about buying Plan B. I ask for an ID, as the law requires, and sell it to them with a smile and a “have a good day” just like I sell everything else. I applaud people who buy Plan B, especially in a Bible-thumping state like Mississippi or Alabama. These two individuals need to lose their jobs over this. Walgreens does not, in any way, promote this type of behavior and I am very sorry that this happened, on behalf of the company.

  102. DarcyAkon says:

    i’m fairly certain that walgreens corporate policy doesn’t allow for pharmacist refusal (i don’t know for certain, as i don’t work for walgreens, but for what it’s worth, they are based in illinois, which i thought was one of the first states to condemn pharmacist refusal). i’ve never had an issue with them myself, and i buy birth control there every month. although i’m in ohio, and in a fairly moderate city.

  103. Anonymous says:

    First of all, why would you waste time researching the availability of Plan B. It has been over the counter for about 2 years. My girlfriend and I have bought Plan B at that Walgreens before without a bit of trouble. Perhaps a new employee or some intern did not know that Plan B was available OTC. It would be nice to know the date of this alleged incident. The staff at that store have been nothing but nice to me every time I have been in there. And also, keep in mind that retail pharmacies can get very hectic. Pharmacies have other business besides selling the morning after pill. Nobody I know has ever had trouble buying Plan B there. I think this person is full of shit.

  104. pwillow1 says:

    A link to this story was posted at Feministing.com, who encouraged their readers to call and complain to Walgreens corporate offices.

    According to comments left on the Feministing website, Walgreens Corporate contacted some of those Feministing readers who had taken the time to call Walgreens Corporate to complain. Walgreens said they investigated the allegations made on the Consumerist website and found they were unsubstantiated.

    I hope that Consumerist will pursue this further with “Michael”, the person who originally posted this complaint.

  105. Anonymous says:

    I live in Oxford, MS, and word is spreading around town today like wildfire about this. I just called and spoke to the pharmacy manager, and he immediately said “it did not happen–that is totally untrue–somebody is trying to get us on the internet.” He’s obviously getting calls. Is there a way for us to confirm that this happened, so we can stick it in this guy’s face? I have no doubt it happened.

  106. tworld says:


  107. Anonymous says:

    I have lived in Oxford for a long time and this is the first time I’ve heard of anyone getting grief buying Plan B. Being a college town, Oxford probably goes through a lot of it! My friends and I have purchased plan b at that walgreens as well as the local Wal-mart and I have not have a single problem with either anyone refusing my request or even so much as getting a dirty look. Again, we are a college town. It’s not an unusual occurrence. Must be some new hot shot evangelist-y pharmacist they hired.

  108. Magnolia23 says:

    Seems limited to wary management/pharmacist lawsuit concerns. I also live in Oxford and think this is a little distorted. I know(from experience) it is readily available at the university health center, with a few questions as in “have you used this recently? You know it should be used sparingly?” without any hassle.

    My sister is a pharmacist for CVS and the threat of lawsuit is something she has to be paranoid about, constantly. The driver’s license act? It’s a means of identification, usually taken after a customer has been “difficult” or raised “suspicious behavior” that would indicate they may possibly be ready to abuse a drug (or in this case) pass it on to a minor. When your gf refused the proof of insurance, that may have raised some “where is this pill actually going to go?” questions.

    Yeah, and Mississippi is not a backwards place. Get over that argument, move on.

    I understand you may have felt like it was “None of their damn business!” and that maybe it was some kind of puritanical throw back, but it seems more like a pharmacists worried about controlling inventory. Don’t pitch a fit in front of the pharmacist next time, and maybe you won’t get flagged. Plan B has side-effects and some pretty gnarly interactions.

  109. Anonymous says:

    I’m a pharmacy tech at Walgreens in Washington state, we don’t cause any hassles when we sell Plan B. If customer looks too young I look at her or his ID only to check date of birth. Much like selling cigarettes to young looking people. No problem. I do however ring up the item and paper bag it as discreetly as possible in case others are close by. Frankly it is much more difficult to buy Sudafed type products. Perhaps it is a regional thing because it is not a Walgreens thing to pass judgement on someone for their private choices.

  110. Anonymous says:

    Has anybody noticed that no media or newspapers are reporting this? It’s because it is not true. Nothing about it can be verified. I work at that Walgreens. There is no new pharmacist. Ask anyone who has actually bought the pill there if they were harassed. People need to get their facts straight before reporting and posting stuff like this. And thanks to whoever posted the phone number..now patients have to wait even longer to get their medicines if we are constantly on the phone defending ourselves. I swear on my life that this did not happen. If we are harassing people for buying Plan B, why would be selling so many boxes per week? Whoever made this false allegation should be sued.

  111. Anonymous says:

    I (a male) bought Plan B at a Walgreens in Ohio with no trouble at all. The pharmacist was very friendly and helpful.

    Clearly, these are person-by-person situations, if the pharmacist has certain beliefs. Anyway, Walgreens shouldn’t get the bad press on this, but only the Oxford, MS branch.

  112. Anonymous says:

    This “right” for a pharmacist to refuse to dispense any medication on a religious or moral basis is nationwide and is by no means limited to MS or the south. PLEASE BE AWARE that nfortunately, one of Mr. Bush’s last “stabs” while in office has been to also extend this policy to ANY type of medical treatment from ANY medical professional – even paraprofessionals. Everyone should look this up and start writing letters of outrage at this. I would always recommend Planned Parenthood to avoid this judgmental attitude from supposed professionals. The closest one to Oxford, MS is in Memphis, TN – a bit of a drive, but worth it.

  113. I JUST WORK HERE says:

    I work for Walgreens, spent about a year in pharmacy… and no, this story in no way reflects our policies. If there was propaganda literature, that pharmacist brought it from home or something, because we don’t do that. We are supposed to be a medical provider, not a sunday school, and there is no excuse for the horrible treatment you received. Please, on behalf of every employee who actually wants to provide good service… complain to corporate about these people. A pharmacist who would place their religious beliefs above their obligation to help the public has no business working here. This kind of story reflects poorly on all of us, and forces us to work that much harder to win back people’s trust. Don’t let them get away with it!!