No Pills for You!

Tyler LePard

A pharmacy in Great Falls, Montana has refused to fill a woman's birth control prescription. The reason? The owners believe that contraceptives are dangerous for women.

We've heard of rogue pharmacists making it difficult for women to get emergency contraception, but this latest pharmaceutical activism goes even further. When a woman went to pick up her birth control pills at her pharmacy in Great Falls, Montana last week, she received a note from the pharmacy owners that they are discontinuing this "class of medicine" (via SaveRoe).

"Snyder Drug has decided to no longer carry oral contraceptives. Although we no longer will carry this particular medication, we will continue to serve your prescription needs with utmost care and trust." ~ Stuart Anderson, Kurt Depner and Kori Depner

When the woman called to ask why the pills were being discontinued, one of the owners told her that oral contraceptives are dangerous for women. This is par for the course for Stuart Anderson (co-owner of Snyder Drug who also owns Anderson Family Pharmacy in Great Falls). He ran a Mother's Day ad in The Great Falls Tribune with an anti-choice message:

The sanctity of human life has always been one of our most cherished heritages. The family unit is the foundation of our society. The devotion and sacrifice of mothers over the years and the continual care and concern for their unborn has been the cornerstone of the family. On this Mother's Day 2007, we wish to express our gratitude to all mothers for their unselfishness in our behalf. As health-care professionals, we call upon the American people to once again reaffirm the right to life for future generations of the unborn and join with us in our efforts to restore respect, dignity and value to each human life—born or unborn.

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Anyone with money can run an advertisement, but health-care professionals should not be able to deny women legal medication. The irony of this particular situation is that this 49-year old woman hasn't been using birth control to prevent pregnancy, but for a different medical condition. Regardless, any woman should be able to access contraception without judgment. I doubt that this woman feels the "utmost care and trust" from Snyder Drug.

Planned Parenthood is asking people in Montana to send a letter to the editor or post a review of Snyder Drug on Yahoo! Local. They've already received this review in support of the activist pharmacists:

Their service is wonderful. Furthermore, they are doing the work of G*D. They understand that intercourse should only be for procreation. If promiscuous women have a problem with that they are free to get their drugs elsewhere. My husband and I have never used birth control and we have 11 beautiful children; all gifts from G*D. Who are we to think that scientists with their unnatural drugs should interfere in G*D's divine plan?
Bottom line = Great Service & Great Morals.

This is the extreme right-wing perspective that we're up against; sounds like that woman went to the "Contraception Is Not the Answer" conference.

There is broad-based public support for contraception and "virtually all women (98%) aged 15-44 who have ever had intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method." The bottom line is that contraception is safe, legal and effectively prevents unintended pregnancy; it should also be accessible.

For more information, see our Fact v. Fiction and Issue Brief on contraception.

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