Wal-Mart To Carry EC But Not Require All Pharmacists to Dispense It
In a partial victory for women, Wal-Mart has announced that it will now carry emergency contraception (EC) in all of its pharmacies, complying with a February 14 ruling of the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy that forced the company to do so in that state. However, Wal-Mart’s policy will allow individual pharmacists to refuse to dispense the medication, leaving open the possibility that women will still not have access to a drug that has been prescribed for them.
The February 14 ruling in Massachusetts came after three women, Katrina McCarty, Julia Battel, and Dr. Rebekah Gee, sued Wal-Mart after attempting to purchase emergency contraception at suburban locations and were told that the store did not sell it and it could not be ordered. Announcing the decision to stock Plan B, a brand of EC, the vice president of Wal-Mart’s Pharmacy, Ron Chomiuk, stated, “We feel it is difficult to justify being the country’s only major pharmacy chain not selling it.”
However, as Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, stated, “In many communities, Wal-Mart is the only pharmacy, so timely access is critical” and the decision to excuse pharmacists from filling prescriptions for EC means that the company is “placing the burden on women.”
Wal-Mart currently faces the largest sex discrimination lawsuit in history and has a history of anti-women practices.
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .