by Steven Ertelt
March 5, 2006
Bentonville, AR (LifeNews.com) — Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retail company, has bowed to pressure from pro-abortion groups and decided it will carry the morning after pill at its 3,700 pharmacies nationwide. Starting March 20, the company will begin carrying the Plan B drugs in its pharmacies and will fill prescriptions for it.
The decision follows a lawsuit in Massachusetts requiring the company to carry the drug there and an executive order by Illinois Gov Rod Blagojevich forcing pharmacists to dispense the drugs in that state.
Pro-life groups oppose the pills because they can sometimes cause an abortion.
"We expect more states to require us to sell emergency contraceptives in the months ahead," Ron Chomiuk, vice president of Pharmacy for Wal-Mart, said in a statement.
"Because of this, and the fact that this is an FDA-approved product, we feel it is difficult to justify being the country’s only major pharmacy chain not selling it," he added.
Chomiuk said the company would continue to allow pharmacists who object to filling scripts for the drugs to refer customers to other pharmacies.
Last week, in a legal threat against the retail giant, Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal said the state would no longer extend its insurance policies for its 188,000 state employees to cover prescriptions filled at Wal-Mart unless the company changed its policy.
Pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL, which had waged an intense lobbying campaign to get Wal-Mart to carry the drugs, applauded the decision.
In an email to its supporters, NARAL said the result was made because of "pressure from activists like you."
Cecile Richards, the new president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said the decision would help women because Wal-mart has the only pharmacy in some communities.
Karen Brauer, the president of Pharmacists for Life International, said Wal-Mart "was big enough to hold its own, regarding its previous business decision not to stock that drug, but some decision makers within the company have lost their nerve in this matter."
"This is a sad thing for such a large and successful company," she added, indicated that other retailers like K-Mart have seen sales decline following decisions to give in to outside pressure groups.
TAKE ACTION: Send your comments to Wal-Mart about its decision to carry the morning after pill. Contact the company by going here.