Thursday, October 20, 2005

Politicizing Pharmacies

City Pages does a nice job of showing how businesses are using the language of diversity and inclusiveness to disguise a right wing agenda. The case in point here is the policy of Target regarding refusal of a pharmacist to fill contraceptive prescriptions.

Here is the Target policy statement:
Like many other retailers, Target's policy ensures that a guest's prescription for emergency contraception is filled, whether at Target or at a different pharmacy [italics added] in a timely and respectful manner. This policy meets the health care needs of our guests while respecting the diversity of our team members.

Target places a very high priority on our role as a community pharmacy and our obligation to meet the needs of the patients we serve. Our guests deserve our best service, and our team members value working in an inclusive environment that respects their individuality.

You may have heard about an alleged incident at a Target store in Missouri. Please know that we have thoroughly researched the situation and determined that the organization has inaccurately portrayed the events that occurred. We are extremely disappointed by yesterday's Planned Parenthood protest at the Missouri store and the misinformation that is being perpetuated.
And the response:
Target's mastery of progressive-sounding rhetoric is impressive. Note the graceful invocation of buzzwords such as "diversity," "individuality," "respect," "inclusive," and--most important--"community." But whatever the "inaccuracies" of the Planned Parenthood account, it is also clear from the Target statement that the retail giant has bowed to the refusal clause movement.

With that in mind, there are more frank ways to express the company policy. Like this: "As a corporation, we have decided to let religious zealots on our payroll send all harlots/guests packing. If you insist on not being fruitful and multiplying, we will give you directions to a more accomodating pharmacist."
Americablog suggests some similar policies:
    So let's ask Target if they also support the following Target employees:

  • Check out clerks who verify how fat you are before selling you that package of potato chips?
  • Pharmacists who don't want to fill prescriptions for Jewish customers who killed Christ.
  • Pharmacists who don't want to help customers who worship a "Satanic counterfeit" (read: "The Pope," in fundie-speak).
  • Pharmacists who only dispense HIV medicine to "innocent victims" of AIDS.
  • Pharmacists who want proof that women seeking emergency contraception were really raped, and that they didn't "deserve it."
  • Pharmacists (or cashiers) who are Christian Scientists - can they refuse to sell any medicine, even aspirin, to anyone?
  • Pharmacists who won't sell birth control pills to unmarried women, condoms to unmarried men, or any birth control at all because God doesn't want people spilling their seed.
  • Can fundamentalist Christian employees refuse to interact with gay people in any way, shape or form since gays are sinners, abominations, biological errors, and very likely pedophiles?
See also Target Pharmacist Refuses to Fill Emergency Contraception Prescription

And Planned Parenthood's analysis of the Refusal Clause Movement.


At 10/20/2005 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I had no idea Target was up to this kind of CRAP!!! Great post! I will be coming back to your blog soon.

Wow, I'm really mad now. I cannot believe what things are coming to in this country. I bet that pharacist gladly fills Viagra prescriptions.

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