Tell Walmart to stock EC

While I HATE Walmart, I understand that for some people it’s the only choice. In a city like Las Vegas we have lots of shopping choices, but when I go visit my family on the farm in Illinois, their closest grocery/department store and pharmacy is a Walmart.

And to tell you the truth, if Walmart treated its employees fairly (unfortunately, they’re in the largest class-action sex discrimination lawsuit in US history), did less damage to the environment (check their record on Clean Water Act violations sometime) and sold less goods created in sweatshops (the majority of goods sold there are produced outside the US), I’d be okay with Walmart.

But maybe we can urge Walmart to do the right thing in pieces — like stocking emergency contraception (known as EC). And you can get involved, too, in the International Day of Action Against Big Box Retailers on Saturday, Nov. 17.

As usual, NOW’s on the forefront. Here’s some info:

The International Day of Action Against Big Box Retailers like Wal-Mart is quickly approaching. On Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007, activists in the U.S. and around the world will gather to protest the continual discrimination, economic, and environmental damage caused by corporations like Wal-Mart.

NOW has always been a leader in the fight against Wal-Mart and we will continue our sustained calls against workplace discrimination, against companies that allow pharmacists to refuse to provide emergency contraception and birth control, and corporate leaders who purchase products produced by women working in sweatshop conditions.

We are asking you, once again, to join the fight and organize your community to join in solidarity with activists around the world to say “enough is enough” and to let shoppers know that every dime spent at Wal-Mart hurts a woman somewhere in this world.

While there will be hundreds of different calls to action at big box retailers around the world, NOW’s focus as part of the International Day of Action is to determine whether or not Wal-Mart is living up to its promise that “Customers will receive their prescriptions or OTC products in stores ‘without discrimination (no harassment or lectures),’ ‘without delay’ and ‘without judgment.’ It has promised to stock emergency contraception in every store where ‘one or more customers request the product’ and, should emergency contraception not be in stock in a particular store, take steps to help customers obtain it.”

NOW is the only feminist grassroots organization with the power and the reach to demand that they keep their promise — but we can’t do it without YOU!

Wal-mart officials said “the company will maintain its conscientious objection policy, except where prohibited by law, allowing any Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club pharmacy employee who does not feel comfortable dispensing a prescription to refer customers to another pharmacist or pharmacy.” That type of “customer service” is unacceptable and it is time to call out each store where even one pharmacist will not dispense emergency contraception and/or birth control products.

What can you do? It’s easy and whether you organize three, 30, or 300 activists, you can take part in this call to action.

Below are the tools you will need to raise community awareness that Wal-Mart continues to discriminate against women. Many of these materials also can be adapted and used to continue your call for every pharmacy in your community to provide hassle-free EC after the Nov. 17 day of action.

Action Kit Materials:

  • Action plan with suggested step-by-step instructions (PDF document)
  • Flier for 11/17 action at Wal-Mart–includes space for you to add place/time (Word document)
  • Flier for EC action at any pharmacy–includes space for you to add place/time (Word)
  • Get it NOW. Use it later. Full-page flier with tear-off pharmacy card (PDF)
  • Get it NOW. Use it later. 1/4-page flier for distribution (PDF)
  • Wal-Mart brochure (PDF)

Please photocopy and distribute these fliers and the brochure widely.

Thank you for taking action in this campaign and for fighting for the girls and women who live in your community.

— Emmily

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