JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Jersey City pharmacy has come under fire after its employees allegedly refused to sell emergency contraception to a man.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey has sent a letter to Rite Aid seeking an apology for the customer, Andrew Andrade.
When Andrade went to his local Rite Aid last month to buy Plan B, the group claims the pharmacy refused to sell him the morning after pill because of his gender.
A staffer and manager apparently told Andrade that the law prohibited men from buying emergency contraception.
ACLU-NJ Deputy Director Jeanne LoCicero said under FDA guidelines anyone who is at least 17-years-old and has a valid government-issued ID can purchase emergency contraception.
Andrade left the Rite Aid store and was able to buy the product at a nearby pharmacy without any trouble.
“I was aware of the law, but how many other people aren’t? In a stressful situation where time is of the essence, the last thing anyone needs is to feel demoralized by having their rights violated,” Andrade said.
Rite Aide said its policy is to sell Plan B to any patient, male or female, who meets the requirements to buy it.
The company said they were informed about the incident this morning and are looking into the complaint.
“We hope that they will train their staff to provide access to people who are in need; it’s a time-sensitive issue,” LoCicero said. “New Jersey has strong anti-discrimination laws and men shouldn’t be turned away just because they’re a man from having access to this medication.”
LoCicero said similar cases of gender discrimination have been reported in pharmacies across the country.
“Men have been turned away from different pharmacies in other states like Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama,” LoCicero said. “We want to make sure that people know that the FDA specifically says that men and women are entitled to access this legal medication.”
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