Another day, another reason to sue Wal-Mart

Three Massachusetts women sue the retail giant for failing to stock emergency contraception.

Published February 1, 2006 9:38PM (EST)

Here's some great breaking news on an otherwise grim day: Three Massachusetts women today filed suit against retail behemoth Wal-Mart for failing to stock emergency contraception in its pharmacies.

According to the Associated Press, the women, who are backed by abortion rights groups, are accusing the chain of violating state regulations that require pharmacies to provide all "commonly prescribed medicines." The suit aims to force Wal-Mart to carry the morning-after pill in the future.

Dan Fogleman, a spokesman for Arkansas-based Wal-Mart, told the AP that the company stocks E.C. only in Illinois, where it is required by law, but that it "chooses not to carry many products for business reasons." Right. I can think of a ton of business reasons that would preclude a company in the business of providing medication from providing medication. It makes perfect sense. In a letter to a lawyer for the plaintiffs, a Wal-Mart attorney made it all clear, explaining that the company doesn't think of the morning-after pill as "commonly prescribed."


The AP notes that CVS, Massachusetts' largest chain of pharmacies, carries E.C. at all its drugstores.

I realize this has been clear for a while now, but given that Wal-Mart pays women less, promotes women less and cares less about whether women have access to the medical remedies to which they have every right, women -- and men -- should not shop at Wal-Mart anymore. Cheers to the three New England broads who -- like those before them -- took it a step further and took the company to court today.

By Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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