Boycott Target

I don’t usually go into political diatribes here. I find the sorts of political arguments that one gets into on the Internet tedious. But I’m making a rare exception here, because it’s something I feel strongly about. I’m shaking out the ole boycott rug to protest pharmacists that refuse to fill contraception prescriptions. The idea of someone, anyone at all, mucking with my or any woman’s decisions about her body and her life gets me spitting mad. As such, Target will no longer be receiving my consumer dollars until they revamp their policies since apparently, Target is A-OK with their pharmacists being righteous misogynists.

For more links and rants, check out wicked_wish‘s information-filled post and jinzi‘s very eloquent letter of protest.


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19 Responses to Boycott Target

  1. dream_wind says:

    In a small rural town in Australia, there is a pharmacist that refuses to stock condoms. He is the only place in town that would normally sell them. The rural teenage pregnancy rate is twice the urban pregancy rate. But the pharmacist is a Catholic and so selling condoms is To Go Against God.

    Fortunately, it is against the law not to supply a prescription here in Australia. But our health minister is rabidly pro life, so I would not be at all surprised if he tried to bring in a law about making the contraceptive pill a voluntary script.

    I bet any women that go to the Catholic pharmacy to get the Pill get Seriously Shunned. Never mind that some of us take it mostly to stop the pain. It has the side effect of (mostly) stopping pregnancy! The horror!

  2. m0nkeygrl says:

    I support the right to a pharmacist not to fill any prescription they don’t want to for whatever reason.

    However I also think that if a parmacist does such a thing, they should be required by law to have a large sign outside their pharmacy that says “NOT A FULL SERVICE PHARMACY!!!! The filling of your prescription is entirely dependent on the arbitrary moral judgements of our staff.” Just see how long they stay in business. 😉

    • dream_wind says:

      >> I support the right to a pharmacist not to fill any prescription they don’t want to for whatever reason.

      Whoah! Why should the pharmacist, who doesn’t know a patient’s medical history, get to decide what medications a person should or shouldn’t be taking? In the case of the Pill, I have taken it since I was 17, not because I wanted the birth control, but because it stopped the period pain.

      Now, if I went into a pharmacy to get a script filled and I knew that back breaking pain would come in a few days if I did not get those pills, I would not want some twit I may never have met refusing to give me those pills because it went against his/her morals.

      If the pharmacist is concerned, he/she needs to take it up with the doctor who made the prescription.

      • mouseferatu says:

        I’d have to agree. Pharmacists are very well trained for what they do, but they are not MDs. As far as I’m concerned, pharmacists have no more business making medical decisions than… Well, than insurance companies do.

        Don’t think we’re likely to get that law changed any time soon, either. 🙁

      • lousy_timing says:

        If the pharmacist is concerned, he/she needs to take it up with the doctor who made the prescription.

        Exactly, which is what they are required to do in any other case where they suspect that the doctor may not have had a full picture of what other medications the patient was taking, medical history, allergic reactions, accidental error in writing out a prescription, etc. They are not allowed to correct the prescription themselves- they must call the doctor and get it approved first.

        In my letter, you’ll note that my daughter takes BCPs for a medical condition. If she doesn’t take the pill, she can go almost a year without a period because her PCOS causes that much of an hormonal imbalance. The time she went 11 months without one, she had a three week long period upon starting her menses again. Would said pharmacist refusing to fill her prescription be aware of the cancer risk they’d be putting her at with their refusal? Should my daughter be placed in that type of danger because of their “moral” objection to others playing God with the lives of a fetus? How is it NOT playing God to put someone at risk of getting cervical cancer, and possibly then denying them the right to bear children later in life?

        Would that, then, have been “God’s Will?” No. That would have been the pharmacist playing God with the life of MY child, and possibly her future children, as well. Whose sin is bigger at that point?

      • m0nkeygrl says:

        I don’t like the idea of people being forced to do something they find morally objectionable. Would you like being forced to do something you thought was wrong? I wouldn’t like it. Though I disagree with this pharmacist scientifically and morally and think his/her opinions are severly misguided, I don’t think they should be forced to perform an action that conflicts with their moral code.

        Of course, in this particular instance, I think the best course for the pharmacist who refused to fill the prescription would be for them to find another profession. (Why someone would even enter a profession knowing their duties might require them to do something they find morally objectionable is beyond me.)

        Also, in this case, Walgreen’s got the woman’s business, not Target. If this happens enough, Target will have to take a look at their policy in this particular matter.

        • dude_the says:

          I sympathize with your desire not to force people to do things they object to on moral or ethical bases. Certainly, I would object to being forced to do something that I felt was wrong, and, depending upon the nature of the something, it would be very difficult to make me do it irregardless of policy or law.

          That said, I’m deeply troubled by the idea that pharmacists would be allowed to refuse to fill a prescription based upon their personal beliefs. Obviously, birth control is what everyone is talking about now, but if they can refuse to dispense birth control then what keeps them from refusing to dispense psychiatric medication on religious grounds or medications to treat STDs or any medication to people of a certain ethnic group by claiming a non-existent religious prohibition? Of course, this last bit highlights the problem in trying to force them to fill these prescriptions. Even if the law says they have to fill them, they can always lie and say they’ve run out or just never order any.

          The problem with relying on the capitalist process to solve this issue is that capitalism cuts both ways. Yes, Target lost the business to Walgreens in this case. But, that’s just one customer. In a conservative community, many more customers may switch from Walgreens to Target because of a Target pharmacist’s refusal to sell birth control, leading to a net gain in customers for Target and a net loss for Walgreens, forcing Walgreens to look at refusing to sell birth control.

          Yup. Deeply troubling all this is. *nod*


  3. fuzzdecay says:

    pharmacists are being paid to fill prescriptions, not force their morality on their customers. being able to refuse to fill a prescription is like a janitor being able to refuse mopping the floor. if you don’t want to take on all the responsibilities of your chosen profession, do something else and save the general population the headache.

    that being said, walgreens and kroger does the same thing, although it’s technically against company policy for kroger. in we’ve talked a lot about the various pharmacies that will and will not fill ec, and about the only one that i know has taken an active stand for filling all prescriptions is cvs.

  4. I am outraged that you encountered this treatment at the Target pharmacy. Any information about drug stores that don’t allow this to be done? I would much prefer to shop at places with a more enlightened philosophy.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I haven’t experienced this appalling behavior firsthand. Thanks to the miracle of modern surgery, the chance of me and conceiving is unlikely to the point of impossibility, especially when paired with all my other medical conditions which make my uterus about as hospitable as ground zero at a nuclear bomb site. Hence, I don’t need BCPs. But I did take them when I was younger, and the idea of anyone withholding them from a woman makes me livid.

      This website lists pharmacies and their policies based upon a survey of national chains. CVS and Eckerd got high marks, as does Costco and Kmart. Whereas Target, Walmart, and Walgreens all get the thumbs down.

      • remipunx says:

        Regardless of a stores policies, federal law give pharmacists the right to refuse to fill srips. They are to return the scrip to the person, then call the doctor who wrote it and inform them they need to review it with the patient.

        People are making this into a Roe V. Wade thing, but its much more a health thing. Pharmacists need this right. People on here keep say, but they are not doctors! No, they are not. And in many cases they know more about medication, and how they interact than most doctors do. They need this right to refuse, for whatever reason, to help keep people safe.

        Its a shame that people on the right are using it in the wrong way, but to take the option away from the pharmacists is scary.

        • dream_wind says:


          You have a valid point here. Perhaps what is needed is a formal documentation of the process that is to be followed if a pharmacist has a valid MEDICAL reason for concern about a medication, such as reporting it to the doctor and some other health group.

  5. tstauffer says:

    Thanks for the info, Eugie. I signed the petition.

    • safirasilv says:

      If one pharmacist won’t fill a prescription for religious reasons, another one at the same store should be required to do it by company policy.

      No interfering with the individual pharmacist’s freedom of conscience OR the patient’s medical care. (I think that’s what CVS does, although I’m speaking from memory here.) And if the pharmacist with the delicate sensibilities can’t handle that, s/he needs a new job, perhaps as a minister of his/her particular denomination.

      Quite upset about Target… they have the cutest dang underwear at very reasonable prices!

  6. dream_wind says:

    Alas, I can’t remember the name. I heard it on the radio recently. The town is in NSW and starts with “M.”

    It may be Moree, but I think Moree would have more than one pharmacy, and this town definitely only has the one.

    His reason for not stocking condoms is that it encourages sin, especially among teenagers. Now, I’m not in favour of indiscrimanate sex either, and I do worry about the culture of sex portrayed in magazines (picked up Cleo or Cosmo lately?).

    BUT, I would rather see that the things are readily available. Kids have always experimented with sex, so at least condoms make it safe.

  7. palmerwriter says:


    Crap! Where will I shop now? I’ve been spending all my time at Target because I’m boycotting Wal-Mart for, well, being Wal-Mart. (I also get a special joy from going there knowing my father-in-law, the Archie to my Meathead, doesn’t approve because Target is a French company.) These big stores give their pharmacists too much pull, probably because they are in such high demand.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I support the right to a pharmacist not to fill any prescription they don’t want to for whatever reason.

    That’s utterly irrelevent. So if I get a job at a car dealership, I can refuse to sell SUVs because I think they are gas guzzling, despoilers of the environment? Nuh-huh. Don’t think so. The business would kick me out on my ass.

    Besides, many women take the birth control pill because it helps with medical problems like endometriosis. If phamacists find doing their job morally wrong, they should get another job. Pharmacists are not in the business of making moral decisions for their clients. Period.

    What if the pharmicist was a Christian Scientist? Or a Scientologist and he/she thought Prozac was morally wrong (and post partum depression was a myth.) Do we want to give them the right to make that decision? I think not.

    Crap. Now I can’t shop Target. I’m running out of places to get cheap toilet paper.

    Pat Kirby

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