Friday Feminist Fuck You: Anti-Choice Pharmacists

It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve put out a video, sorry about that! This week’s ‘fuck you’ was inspired by Ann’s post about the latest anti-choice pharmacy and Pharmacists for Life International (who incidentally has called us “radical feminazis” and “radical abortoholics” on their website). Enjoy!

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Approximate transcript after the jump…


Fuck You Anti-Choice Extremist Pharmacists!
Ann reported this week that a pharmacy in Virginia became the 7th pharmacy to be certified by the anti-choice organization Pharmacists for Life International.
This not only means that this pharmacy won’t dispense emergency contraception, but they won’t give out any form of contraception at ALL because they say its at odds with their religious beliefs.
Never mind if that a woman has a legal right to medication, never mind that this policy will punish rape victims and could cause more unintended pregnancies. Pharmacists like these don’t care, because to them, it’s more important that they impede access to what they see as sinful than it is to do their jobs and let women make their own health care decisions.
And while this latest pharmacy is just one of several to come out and say they won’t dispense contraception, pharmacists across the country are doing the same thing – they’re just more stealthy about it.
Take the pharmacist, for example, who in 2005 wrote a letter to the Arizona Republic reccommending that pharmacists who have a problem giving out emergency contraception should just lie to their female customers and say that they don’t have the medication or won’t get it for several days–which by then would be too late.
One woman who worked at a WalMart pharmacy even wrote into Feministing for advice because the head pharmacist there was denying women contraception and bullying customers despite a store policy that ensures women access to prescriptions.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, pharmacies like these are beyond “pro-life” – they’re pro-lying and anti-woman.
Women know what’s best for themselves and their families – and we have a legal right to birth control.
So, to anti-chocie extremist pharmacists, for lying to women and impeding our access to legal contraceptives – FUCK YOU.

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39 Comments

  1. MLEmac28
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    at first I thought someone else was talking in the background towards the end, then I realized it was a song. Sweet. Since I think it’s always a good idea to have plan B on hand, if a pharmacist claimed they were out, I’d ask if they could call me when they get it in, or just come back in a week, and hopefully get the same pharmacist. If they really were just out, I’d think, “well, now I have an extra” and be done with it. If I kept getting denied I’d go complain to the manager about their “abysmal ability to stay stocked in a product which is obviously in high demand.”

  2. SadieWest
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Love me some Salt ‘n’ Pepa. Mmm hmm.

  3. aideenjohnston
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    What song is that?

  4. Robbert
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Their religion forbids it?

    Exodus 22:18 – Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

    Now some people may be confused, as they have read the KJB, which since it’s earliest conception in the time of Henry the VIIIth has mentioned witches, and they think of people flying on broomsticks and schoolteachers being burned to death in Salem.
    The results of this rather unfortunate mistranslation, and it’s effect on many women (and men) has been discussed widely in many places. The more relevant bit of course is that the original Greek word was “pharmakeia” which is a dispenser of medicine and poison, and is the direct root of the English Pharmacist.
    My only conclusion is that these people are not allowed to be pharmacists by their own religious beliefs, and thus should be offered the simple choice: Do your job, or resign.

  5. Lucia
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    What also pisses me off is that a lot of ladies use birth control pills for reasons other than avoiding pregnancy. I knew a bunch of girls in high school, for example, who were on the pill to regulate their periods because they had really bad cramps or endometriosis. They were on the pill before they started having sex. What are these girls supposed to do? Suffer because some jerk-off right-wing pharmacist thinks he has a God-given right to tell them women what to do with their bodies?

  6. alicialynn
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Oh the crazy pro-fetus community is at it again. And Lucia is right there are numerous women, of all ages, who are on bc for health reasons. I was one of those high school girls that was on bc before I started having sex. I’ve been on it since I was 16 and found out I had endometriosis, I started having sex when I was 19. Do these people not realize that they’re fucking with women’s health, or are they really just callus bastards who don’t care?

  7. Jut Gory
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Robbert,
    I need a citation here.
    Exodus is a Hebrew text.
    Which “original” Greek version are you talking about?
    -Jut

  8. bri
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    @JutGory
    I’m guessing it was a reference to the Septuagint, the original Greek translation of the Old Testament, used widely in Jesus’s day (the New Testament period). The original Hebrew word for the verse he quoted was “kashaph” and was only used (in the biblical text) in referring to witches, sorcerers, and witchcraft itself.

  9. T-Monster
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Love the addition of Salt n Peppa.
    I promote soundtracks for all future Feministing videos!

  10. la potra
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Yes! Great vid and excellent use of Salt n Pepa :)

  11. sarah1031
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Just wanted to say I love this post and I love you, Jessica! Salt n Pepa was a major added bonus. I love Friday Feminist Fuck You! Pro-Women and Pro-Choice and give me my fucking hormones!!!

  12. Robbert
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    @JutGory
    Wow, can I sumarise several years of Combined Atheist/Catholic upbringing, and reading about comparative religion and persecution of whichcraft into a single comment.
    I’ll do my best.True enough, Exodus was a Hebrew text. However the earliest copies of the bible, including the old testament were written in Greek. Genesis & exodus were translated from the Septuagint or LXX (Greek Old Testament) which was translated from the Hebrew language in about 270 B.C. by 70 Israelite elders in Alexandria, Egypt, through the initiative of King Ptolemy. ( Exodus 22:18 Greek OT: Septuagint with Diacritics Both in Greek and in Latin: – http://biblos.com/exodus/22-18.htm )This Greek edition was the prime version used in Nicene Christianity which became the official state religion in the Eastern Empire during the 4th century under Flavius Theodocius (I). This was later translated to Latin for the Catholic church in the western half of the empire.Now when John Reynolds was charged with compiling an English edition of the bible, he didn’t just translate the the existing catholic Latin one, that really wouldn’t do for the Church of England.
    He went and collected a large group of scholars who compiled a translation out of various languages and translations, among which the Septuagint Greek edition. ( http://www.av1611.org/kjv/kjvhist.html )More exact translations from the Hebrew and Greek to modern English is rather hard for me to find just now.
    Most default back to the accepted biblical translations of witch and sorceress.However the same word was used in the new testament.
    As this is the new testament, many more people have researched it’s meaning there.I hope this has been some use to you.

  13. meeneecat
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    If women have a legal right to birth control…than has any of these pharmacies, and their policy to not dispense birth control been challenged in court? Does anyone know? I remember Bush signed something into law (i think, awhile ago)…but surely this can’t be constitutional. Does anyone have anymore info they could share?

  14. ShelbyWoo
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    meeneecat:
    From the National Women’s Law Center website:
    Most states in the US have regulations that implicitly impose a duty on the pharmacist to dispense all legally valid and medically
    appropriate prescriptions regardless of their personal beliefs. Seven states also explicitly require pharmacists or pharmacies to
    ensure that valid prescriptions are filled. Seven states have policies that prohibit a pharmacist from obstructing patient access to
    medication or from refusing to transfer or refer prescriptions to another pharmacy. Only four states permit refusals without any
    patient protections.

    Virginia is not listed as having any explict regulations regarding refusal based on personal beliefs.

  15. ShelbyWoo
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Here is that PDF
    http://www.nwlc.org/pdf/PharmacyRefusalPoliciesJanuary2008.pdf
    I hope that helps (sorry, I don’t know html tags well enough to make that a link)

  16. manifestadestiny
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    I concur on the appropriateness of said outro
    Nun a yo bidness.

  17. Newbomb Turk
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    The very idea of a pharmacy that refuses to dispense LEGAL drugs to people who are legally entitled to them is like a bar where the bartender refuses to serve drinks or a restaurant where the chef refuses to cook food for customers. Only the most deranged of fundie fucktards can justify this kind of nonsense.
    If you have moral qualms about doing your job, QUIT! Find another line of work!

  18. Posted October 24, 2008 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    The obvious ridiculous of not dispensing pills aside, what about condoms? What if your partner was positive for an STI, and you were both being responsible about it, only to be met with some idiot behind the counter refusing to sell you condoms?
    Not much on religion, myself, but I can hardly believe that if there’s a god he wants untold numbers of illegitimate children running around and rampant spread of sexual infections and diseases that can all be easily prevented.

  19. Jessica
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, sarah1031! You just made my night.

  20. Ms. Kar3n
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    If someone’s got moral qualms about birth control, that’s fine.
    But to be a pharmacist, someone has to go through a few years of training, pass a state license exam, and then get through the job interview. At some point in those several years, wouldn’t it occur to you that you’d have to sell something you’ve got a huge moral problem with, and that maybe this isn’t the best career choice?

  21. mirandom
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    As was mentioned above, it really pisses me off that they’re not taking into account that some women are on birth control for reasons other than to prevent pregnancy. The pill saved my sister’s life, and I’m not just being dramatic(ok, maybe a little dramatic). It’s very complicated and I’ll spare you the details, but basically when my sister was 14 she had her period for almost a year straight. She was young and confused and apparently thought if she ignored it it would go away. Her doctor actually used the phrase “slowly bleeding to death.” She had half the amount of blood she was supposed to. There were several treatments to help with her anemia and low iron, but the most important was taking care of the cause and regulating her menstrual cycle. What would we have done if she couldn’t have gotten the pill? Blood transfusions only take care of the symptom, not the cause. Or maybe they would just prefer to let a 14 year old girl bleed to death because the birth control pill is against their religion. Fuck them. My sister and all other women have the right to be healthy.

  22. maryjanefoxie
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    Yet another instance where S&P’s “None of Your Business” is not only appropriate, but entirely on point! Bless them for composing my personal Pussy Power anthem & bless y’all for recognizing it’s relevance.
    With regards to these pharmacists, they are the only folks able to dole out contraceptives (aside from doctors & the like), but that shouldn’t make them gate-keepers to America’s fertility options!

  23. Silvertail
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I am new here, but I hope to be a contributor to the comments at least. I am a male, “pro-feminist” because I have the bizarre idea that women are equal to, or better then men…. And I hate the idea of the Patriarchy. I recently reread Amanda Marcotte’s book. I found it most amusing, (bad choice of words, witty would be better.) She said many women take their husband’s name for convenience, or because they did not like their own. I figured I would take my wife’s name for the same reason, because I do not like my family name if I ever marry.
    Anyway I hope I can play a part. I oppose the Patriarchy.
    Cheers,
    Silvertail

  24. Silvertail
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    If I were ever to Marry that is…

  25. Silvertail
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    “Or maybe they would just prefer to let a 14 year old girl bleed to death because the birth control pill is against their religion. Fuck them. My sister and all other women have the right to be healthy.”
    Honestly, they probably would have… You know how conservatives are, no?? “Those sluts deserve it.” Right??? Their Slutitude makes them worthy of any consequences they may face.”
    Fuck them, all Women deserve to have any option open to them.
    cheers
    Dan

  26. Flippy
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    If we’re going to argue about interpreting the Bible, could we not be nasty about it?
    Many religious people in this country use birth control in their lives, whether or not they’re living their lives the “right” way. Many people recognize the difference between the “outer” and “inner” lives, the inner life being something that’s impractical to try to control, the side that’s really between yourself and God. I think this is the issue and the middle ground we have to find, the middle ground that is missed when the issue is used to divide and exploit.
    This is birth control and not abortion. The Catholic Church’s (The pharmacy in Virginia is Catholic, right?) issue, as I understand it, with birth control is that it prevents what should be happening when you have sex. That’s not so much an act against anybody so much as a “supposed to,” and we have a LOT of “supposed to”s that we just accept that we’re not able to do. So, you might feel some post-coital guilt about cheating the system, I’m told. Is that something to go nuts about? Not really.
    But then again I live in the “Not America” part of the country, so our way of life doesn’t count.

  27. Flippy
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    That is, to say, I KNOW what the priests and hierarchy say and how adamant they are about it, but that it doesn’t have to be. Many people use birth control anyway, not so much because they’re less religious, but because they have a different outlook (or they flat out disagree. Yes, it’s possible!).
    I think what’s been happening in this country is that the inner life has become once again a huge issue and part of the outer life and outward expression of religion. It’s become a challenge to how faithful you are.

  28. imnotemily
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    oh my lord, that song is my JAM!!! I’m gonna go rock out my Saturday morning coffee with some bad ass Salt-n-Pepa… oh 1993, how I miss you.
    Also, awesome Friday Fuck You, Jessica. :)

  29. UnderCobbles
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Can we please
    a) organize a pro-contraception, pro-choice armored convoy
    b) visit this pharmacy in said convoy
    c) tie brightly coloured/nice-tasting femidoms/condoms to balloons and let them loose around the entrance/block?

  30. Buddy Holly
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Are these pharmacists assholes? Yep.
    Should pharmacists be required to sell products that they find immoral or unsafe? Nope.
    Boycott the store. Have your friends boycott the store. Picket the place if you wish. An independent businessperson is well within their legal rights (poorly though out state laws notwithstanding) to decide which products they wish to sell.
    I have a legal right to buy Coca-Cola. That does not impose a requirement that the local soda fountain carry the product.
    Other than that principled stance for freedom of those I disagree with, continue to shame and call out the heartless jerks.

  31. Lisa
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    We all know that being denied medication is considerably different than being denied some product from another business. Particularly when the nearest pharmacy is miles away. I feel like we should have a right to receive medication we’ve obtained a legal prescription for, but how can you force a private company to stock the products you want? That’s the problem, we have no right to health care in the US (unless you are sitting in a hospital about to die, then you have a right to be stabilized, released, and file for bankruptcy when you can’t foot the bill). A privatized health care system means they can treat your medication just like coca-cola at a convenience store. As long as health care is a commodity, I can’t see a good way around this problem. Call me a socialist, but I live in a state where liquor is completely regulated by the government with liquor stores merely being distributors for state-purchased alcohol. I have trouble understanding why pharmacies are not also government-run distribution centers. For now the best we can hope for is that states put pressure on their pharmacy boards, but with no standard ‘right’ to health care this seems unlikely in more conservative states.

  32. profoundsarcasm
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I was picking up a prescription a few days ago and noticed that my pharmacy had a few boxes of Plan B on a shelf behind the counter. It made me very happy. Hopefully I’ll never need to get it, but it’s good to know it’s there.

  33. Posted October 25, 2008 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I think some people are missing the point here: These people knew when they became pharmacists that they wouldn’t dispense birth control. That’s their contribution to the “culture war.” I bet there are a lot of graduates from Oral Roberts, Liberty, & Bob Jones University that are now pharmacists.
    profoundsarcasm, you should get a box just in case. Everyone should in case of an emergency so you don’t have to wait. My gyno wrote me a script for some, I haven’t used it but it’s comforting to have.

  34. vballcourtx10
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I read about this same issue in Full Frontal Feminism and my feelings are still the same. Doctors are obliged by the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm and provide care for those who need it. That is their job! It does not say do not treat a patient if you dont feel like it. Women have a right to get the care that they want and the prescriptions they need. Its sort of ridiculous that this is even an issue.

  35. ShifterCat
    Posted October 26, 2008 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    @Silvertail: I know a guy who took his wife’s last name.
    @Buddy Holly: the problem, as outlined here, is that in some places, a boycott might involve driving 80 miles out of your way.
    At least that Divine Mercy pharmacy is up-front about its policies. The really dangerous cases are the pharmacists who don’t reveal their plan until they have a woman’s prescription in their hands, and then refuse to give it back.

  36. Posted October 27, 2008 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I am searching for pharmacists that deny birth control in Fort Worth, Texas, to start a letter-writing campaign (and media campaign) against them! If anyone is from the fort worth area and knows of such a pharmacy, please post it in the comments here:
    http://fortworthfeminism.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/anti-choice-pharmacies-deny-right-to-birth-control/

  37. Megan
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    I find the end of this video and others on this site a bit childish. “Fuck you”??? How about you tell us what we as women and men can do about changing policies, such as the ones at our local pharmacies. Just by saying, “Fuck you,” we aren’t really accomplishing anything, we’re just complaining and being whiney women. I’m not saying everyone on here is. There are some great comments on here. But for me personally, I’d like to know what I can personally do in my community to help out with some of these things. After all, isn’t activism a core foundation of our movement, regardless of gender?

  38. Megan
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    I find the end of this video and others on this site a bit childish. “Fuck you”??? How about you tell us what we as women and men can do about changing policies, such as the ones at our local pharmacies. Just by saying, “Fuck you,” we aren’t really accomplishing anything, we’re just complaining and being whiney women. I’m not saying everyone on here is. There are some great comments on here. But for me personally, I’d like to know what I can personally do in my community to help out with some of these things. After all, isn’t activism a core foundation of our movement, regardless of gender?

  39. Sewanna
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    It’s very complicated and I’ll spare you the details, but basically when my sister was 14 she had her period for almost a year straight. She was young and confused and apparently thought if she ignored it it would go away. Her doctor actually used the phrase “slowly bleeding to death.” She had half the amount of blood she was supposed to
    ___
    My Page – Cialis Super Active+

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