Claim: Wal-Mart is the target of a Planned Parenthood boycott because of its refusal to sell a “morning after” pill.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 1999]
For those of you that have not heard, Planned Parenthood is planning a boycott of
Planned Parenthood is asking all women and the men who agree with a woman’s right to choose (to kill) to boycott
Wal-Mart officials gave an
The address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Put re: Preven
Please forward this to everyone and let’s let them know that the majority still supports Right to Life. Thanks. We really need to support businesses that take a moral stand on an issue.
“it is a very great poverty that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.” —–Mother Teresa
Origins: In May 1999, Wal-Mart announced its pharmacies would not be selling the emergency contraceptive Preven. At that time Planned Parenthood did indeed engage in a bit of sabre-rattling, threatening a boycott of the retailer if that decision wasn’t reversed. That boycott, however, does not appear to have materialized. The angry talk quickly dissipated, but not so quickly that someone on the other side of the fight didn’t decide to issue his own call to arms, hence the
Wal-Mart’s stance isn’t so much pro-life as it is pro-business, but we’ll get into that later. Let’s start with a discussion of what the drug in question is and why it’s the subject of so much controversy.
Preven is a “morning-after” pill that can be used up to
Preven’s manufacturer, Gynetics Inc. of Somerville, N.J., is of the opinion the drug doesn’t cause abortions. It says Preven stops ovulation and prevents fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterine wall. Those against the drug claim it’s an abortifacient in that though it doesn’t kill the fertilized egg, it does keep it from gaining needed succor, which brings about the egg’s demise. It’s a fine point of distinction, but upon these fine points are pro-choice and pro-life wars waged. Also playing a role in the controversy is the question of when new life begins — at the moment sperm and egg successfully come together, or at the moment the fertilized egg successfully implants. Whether one chooses to view Preven as a birth control drug or as an abortifacient likely hinges on when one believes conception takes
Preven is not to be confused with
is used in the first seven weeks of pregnancy to cause a medically-induced abortion. In 2004 the FDA announced stricter labelling requirements for the drug, citing the instance of serious bacterial infection, bleeding, ectopic pregnancies that have ruptured, and death that have occurred among those who have taken it.
Wal-Mart says its decision not to stock Preven was purely a business one. The company has stated that in the interest of meeting the needs of customers, its pharmacists will refer any request for the product to pharmacies that do carry it. It’s this dichotomy of stance (“We won’t sell it to you, but we’ll help you get it from another outlet”) which supports
Planned Parenthood believes
Wal-Mart has been a favorite corporate whipping boy for years now. It’s big and successful and thus has provided our society two extremely popular putative reasons for resenting the hell out of it: It is said to have driven plucky little
In addition to the success-related reasons offered for disliking this particular retailer are the numerous marketing decisions it has made over the years. Time and again,
Yet as much as Wal-Mart is decried for its various decisions on what it will and will not sell, the unarguable bottom line is that it has the right to vend what it pleases — that is, after all, what free enterprise is about. If it chooses not to stock an FDA-approved drug, the consumer can vote with his feet. Likewise, if it chooses to sell guns but not certain popular CDs, the options are the same.
Barbara “wal-martinet” Mikkelson
|Walmart’s Statement Concerning Preven|
Last updated: 3 December 2007