AmericaBlog has a story on how a Missouri Target pharmacist refused to refill a birth control prescription for a 26-year-old woman. When contacted by Planned Parenthood, Target confirmed that it indeed permits individual pharmacists to refuse to dispense birth control and emergency contraception should it violate their personal religious beliefs.
I can't in good conscience give my business to a company that allows employees to discriminate and put women in harm's way on arbitrary whims. So, though it bums me out, no more Mossimo shrugs, Isaac Mizrahi shirts or Stuff by Duff home decor. I emailed Target's corporate website and strongly urge you to do the same by clicking here. Here's what I wrote; feel free to borrow all or any of it, but please write. They need to hear from smart, educated people telling them this is not OK.
Because of the recent disclosure that Target pharmacists may freely refuse to dispense birth control and emergency contraception, I will no longer be a Target customer.
I strongly believe that it is not a corporation's place to pass judgement on any sort on its customers. Target would not tolerate a white supremacist employee who refuses to help minority customers, nor a homophobic employee who refuses to serve gay or lesbian customers. Why then, may a employee refuse to serve a Target customer on religious grounds?
If Target wants to set a corporate policy to not dispense birth control or emergency contraception, that is its prerogative. Though I personally would disagree with such a directive and continue to shop elsewhere, a clear and defined company policy would be useful to the communities that Target serves. However, to allow individual employees to assert their personal beliefs on a whim is dangerous to customers. Women (and their partners) rely on these medications to preserve their health and their way of life. It is highly unethical for a pharmacist to aid in disrupting a cycle of medicine. It is dangerous to refuse to provide medical care to women who may or may not have been victims of sexual assault. It is highly irresponsible for Target to allow an environment where prescriptions may be filled one day only to be denied the next.
I am sorry that I will no longer be able to shop at Target. Until now, I have been pleased with the products offered and the services I have received at my local store. However, I cannot support a company that permits such a byzantine, discriminatory policy.