What Is It With Walgreens Policing Women’s Sexual Health?

Planned Parenthood reports that a Walgreens pharmacist in Idaho refused to fill a prescription for Methergine, a medicine used to control uterine bleeding following childbirth, a miscarriage, or an abortion. The pharmacist asked the nurse calling to fill the prescription whether it was needed for post-abortion care, and when the nurse (citing patient confidentiality) refused to answer, the pharmacist hung up.

As one blogger notes, this is an attempt to punish women who exercise their reproductive rights. Right on the heels of some Walgreens pharmacists refusing to sell Plan B to men, this is a punitive, disturbing way of policing women’s sexual and reproductive health.

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About Jeana


Jeana Jorgensen, PhD recently completed her doctoral degree in folklore and gender studies at Indiana University. She studies fairy tales and other narratives, dance, body art, feminist theory, digital humanities, and gender identity.

  • Foxlovesvixen

    Unless I’m wrong, to be fair it seems the trouble is with the pharmacists hired and not Walgreens itself. They do not, as far as I know, have a ban on selling these drugs, it’s the individual pharmacists who are imposing their views on other people. I would not be surprised if say a group of pharmacists from the same chain are getting together and discussing how to get away with such things. Because in every instance I’ve heard this happening it’s been in states with less than progressive political views and a strong religious right segment of the population. However, if I was Walgreens or any any other corp that’s been found to have employees acting this way, like Wal-Mart, I’d fire them. I can’t imagine having a problem finding a level-headed pharmacist to replace them.

  • http://twitter.com/foxyfolklorist Jeana Jorgensen

    You could be right–it might be that individual pharmacists are taking the initiative to act on their own beliefs here, with no correlation whatsoever so the fact that so many of these incidents have happened at Walgreens. Or perhaps the problem resides in part on Walgreens’ end, such as perhaps they don’t emphasize certain aspects of client interaction in their training and hiring practices. I can’t say for sure… but while there’s at least a hint of a connection between the company and the actions of their workers, I’m curious about whether there might be even more of a connection between company hiring/firing practices and the beliefs of the individuals working for them.