Last month CVS apologized for refusing to let a man buy Plan B at a Houston store because he doesn't have a uterus. The pharmacy acknowledged that the sale of the drug isn't restricted by gender, and said it was an "isolated incident." However, the problem isn't so isolated after all. The ALCU of Texas is going after CVS because just three weeks earlier, a pharmacy in Mesquite refused to sell a man emergency contraception. They even went a step further, informing him that they don't know that he isn't a rapist.
The Dallas Observer reports that on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Jason Melbourne drove to the Mesquite CVS, which is about 15 miles away from his home, while his wife stayed home with their two young children. They'd had an "accident" several days earlier and time was running out to take the pill. When Melbourne asked for emergency contraception, which he'd purchased before, the pharmacist, Minni Matthew, told him she couldn't sell it to him because he wasn't going to use it. After doing a search on his phone, Melbourne informed Matthew that selling Plan B to dudes is just as legal as selling condoms to women, but she wouldn't listen. As their argument grew more heated, a male pharmacy technician told Melbourne in front of several other customers that they don't sell emergency contraception to men because they might give it to "rape victims."
Even when Melbourne put his wife on the phone, Matthew and her supervisor refused to sell him Plan B. Melbourne's wife called other pharmacies and directed her husband to a nearby Walgreens that would sell him the drug. After the incident, he contacted the ALCU, saying, "I don't want this crap happening to me again, or to someone else."
When contacted by reporters, CVS initially said they'd already responded to the incident, before realizing that two Texas locations have been violating store policy. Though you might think that CVS would have made its policy clear to all employees after the first incident, recently the store manager of the Mesquite CVS insisted that they're not supposed to sell emergency contraception to men because they can't verify that the woman who takes it will be over 17. She added that she heard "other stores" weren't selling the pills to men because they might be giving them to abused women.
Lisa Graybill, the legal director at the ACLU of Texas, responded:
I don't know where these ideas comes from ... I'm not telling you there's never a case that that's happened, but I'm not aware of any. That's a sensational story that would get coverage if someone was criminally accused of doing that.
We have an idea about where people are hearing these stories about imaginary rape victims. While arguing that Plan B shouldn't be available to women under 17 without a prescription, those opposed to the measure claimed the drugs, "open the door for all sorts of abuse," and suggested that rapists might be giving the drugs to underage girls. Graybill is right that if this had ever actually happened, we'd never hear the end of it. In all likelihood, it's just a hypothetical situation cooked up by those who don't want a slut-enabling "abortion pill" (that doesn't actually cause abortions) on the shelves.