ACLU Submits Over 2,000 Signatures in Petition Demanding Equal Access to Plan B Contraception

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Dotty Griffith (512) 478-7300 x 106; dgriffith@aclutx.org

AUSTIN – Drugstore chain Walgreens has assured the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas that it has taken steps to prevent a repeat of two cases of gender discrimination - which occurred last year and in late 2009 - when male customers at two Texas stores were not allowed to purchase emergency contraception.

“Texans and ACLU supporters want Walgreens to know that they object to gender discrimination relating to the sale of emergency contraception,” said ACLU of Texas Public Education Director Dotty Griffith. Accordingly, this week the ACLU of Texas delivered a petition with more than 2,000 signatures to Walgreens’ corporate headquarters, urging the pharmaceutical giant to cease gender discrimination in the sale of emergency contraception, known as “EC” or “Plan B,” and support a couple's right to make contraception decisions.

Refusing to sell emergency contraception to men over the age of 17 is against Walgreens corporate policy and FDA guidelines.

“Although Walgreens policy is consistent with FDA guidelines, practices at some of its stores unfortunately haven’t been,” said Lisa Graybill, Legal Director for the ACLU of Texas.  “Over 2,000 people have spoken out and helped us make it clear to Walgreens these practices won’t be tolerated.”

Walgreens has clarified its policy with managers at the Houston store where the latest incident occurred, and instructed regional managers and directors to clarify the policy with store managers at its 700 Texas stores. Additionally, Walgreens has communicated with the customer who was the latest person to report this practice, stating that the company regrets the incident and has taken additional measures in an effort to avoid future instances.

“We appreciate how responsive the company has been,” said Manuel Quinto-Pozos, Staff Attorney for the ACLU of Texas.  “We hope no other Walgreens customer experiences what our complainants did.”

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