I don’t even know where to start with this one. The facts:
Jason Melbourne had already visited four pharmacies in search of Plan B for his wife when he was referred to a CVS in Mesquite, Texas, some 15 miles away from his home. They had one box left:
But when he finally got there, the overnight pharmacist, Minni Matthew, told Melbourne she wasn’t going to sell it to him.
In order for him to buy the meds, the pharmacist said, she’d need to talk to and see the ID of his wife, who was at home with their two young children. He asked why, and she pointed to the fine print on the medication’s box, which says it can only be sold to someone age 17 or older. Melbourne pointed out that he was well over 17.
“I’ve bought this plenty of times in my life, and it’s never been a problem,” he said. “Are you telling me every other place I’ve bought it from has been wrong?”
Didn’t matter, Matthew said, since the medicine obviously wasn’t for him.
“Why don’t you show me the law that says you can’t sell this to a man?” Melbourne replied.
And then it gets worse:
That’s when a male pharmacy technician informed Melbourne that they didn’t want to sell emergency contraception to men because they might be giving it to “rape victims.”
I’m still not sure how to unpack that.
I can’t wrap my head around the idea that they won’t sell it to a man. My first thought is that they assumed that he might be buying it for a small girl. But how would they know that any woman buying it isn’t doing the same? The answer is, of course, they can’t. That’s why it’s not their job to figure that out. They just sell it to people of the right age. In fact, there are tons of regulations and laws that allow people to buy and pick up drugs for others. None of them that I know of are gender based.
Their answer is that he might be a rapist? How does that play out in their head? He raped someone and then was immediately concerned that he might have gotten her pregnant? So he want to a store (where he was likely on video) and tried to buy emergency contraception so that he could prevent the pregnancy from happening? And then he was going to let her go? And by preventing the rapist from buying the drug, the pharmacist achieves what? Please, explain it to me. I can’t figure this out.
I try not to get angry about stuff like this. I really do. But this isn’t the first time this has happened. There’s actual data showing this kind of stuff is widespread. So what did the government do to make things better? Nothing. They overruled the FDA decision that might do so. We shouldn’t let them forget it.
And, before you start telling me how we need to “protect the children” from some hypothetical, remember that there are tons of other drugs that are over the counter that are far more dangerous and do actual harm that no one ever says anything about.