ACLU probes pharmacy’s refusal to sell Plan B to N.J. man

    A New Jersey man says a pharmacy turned him away when he tried to purchase emergency contraception for his girlfriend.

    Grad student Andrew Andrade says a worker and a Rite Aid pharmacy manager in Jersey City told him it’s against the law to sell the emergency contraception pills, Plan B, to a man.

    Plan B is most effective in the first 12 hours after a contraception failure.

    “I was nervous and I was feeling like, if I can’t get the pill within the time frame, I’m going to be in a bigger situation that I don’t want,” Andrade said.

    The 25-year-old went to another drug store and had no problem purchasing the pills, but later decided to contact the American Civil Liberties Union. He learned that other men around the country have been turned away at the pharmacy counter.

    “We want to prevent this kind of discrimination at all pharmacies, and we want to make sure pharmacy staff are trained properly so they are not violating people’s rights,” said Jeanne LoCicero, deputy legal director at the ACLU of New Jersey. “We want men to know when they go to the pharmacy to purchase the contraception, they do have that right.”

    A Rite Aid spokeswoman says the company is investigating Andrade’s complaint. Ashley Flower said Rite Aid’s policy is to follow federal rules and provide Plan B to anyone–man or woman–who is 17 or older and able to provide valid government identification as proof of age.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal