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An Unlawful Refusal to Sell Emergency Contraception

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Published on May 29, 2012

When Andrew tried to buy Plan B, an FDA-approved brand of emergency contraception, at his local Rite Aid on April 23, the staff member behind the pharmacy counter refused to sell it to him. Another staff member claimed incorrectly that the law prohibited men from buying emergency contraception, and the pharmacy manager repeated this mistake and confirmed the store's policy of not selling it to men. Immediately after the experience at Rite Aid, he was able to purchase it at a nearby pharmacy without incident. The ACLU-NJ sent a letter written on behalf of Andrew Andrade asking for the Pennsylvania-based national chain to apologize for refusing to sell him emergency contraception based on his gender and seeking corrective action for its employees' violations of FDA guidelines and New Jersey's anti-discrimination laws.


UPDATE: On June 1st, The ACLU-NJ received a letter from the headquarters of Rite Aid, apologizing to Andrew Andrade. Staffers at the Jersey City store refused to sell the medicine to Andrade and erroneously told him they were not allowed to sell Plan B to men.

Rite Aid said in its letter it's investigating the matter and interviewing the store's employees. It also stated it is reviewing Rite Aid's policy and procedure for dispensing Plan B, which follows FDA guidelines, with the Jersey City pharmacy.

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