FROM THE REPROACTION BLOG
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It should be easy to find and purchase emergency contraception. Yet across the East Coast, Harris Teeter customers have to navigate a retail obstacle course to purchase Plan B One Step.
Since 2016, Reproaction has taken bold action to pressure Harris Teeter to get rid of their outdated emergency contraception policy. The policy, which requires customers to search the shelves for a plastic card that then must be brought to the pharmacy or a store manager, is not only patronizing but creates unnecessarily barriers for customers seeking Plan B One Step.
In April 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) set new guidance for retailers selling emergency contraception. The FDA removed previous age restrictions and also allowed retailers to stock Plan B One Step and other emergency contraceptives directly on the shelf. Since then, 76 percent of chain retailers have moved Plan B One Step to the shelf where it belongs, but not Harris Teeter.
From limited pharmacy hours and fear of being asked for identification, to the threat posed by the potential for a pharmacist refusing to provide access to emergency contraception because of personal beliefs, Harris Teeter’s policy poses a large barrier to accessing emergency contraception. This is especially troubling because Plan B One Step is a time-sensitive medication to prevent unintended pregnancy, and the sooner it can be taken, the more effective it will be. Making matters worse, Harris Teeter’s policy is corporate, which means all of the more than 250 Harris Teeter stores from Delaware to Florida are barred from making emergency contraception available to their customers on the shelf.
In September 2016, Reproaction alerted Harris Teeter’s corporate office about the problem. Despite explaining that their emergency contraception policy was actively causing harm and that it was not in line with the FDA’s revised guidance, our concerns were ignored. In response, Reproaction launched our #DontHidePlanB campaign, and nearly 2 years later, we are still fighting for access to emergency contraception on the shelf at Harris Teeter stores.
Plan B One Step, which is a time-sensitive medication to prevent unintended pregnancy when taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, should not be politicized. Harris Teeter continues to sell products at a similar price point directly on the shelf, along with other medications that carry larger risks than Plan B, such as aspirin and cough medicine.
We will not accept unnecessary obstacles to accessing reproductive healthcare. Sign our petition to demand Harris Teeter put Plan B One Step on the shelf where it belongs, then check out how you can take action through this campaign.
Take action and tell Harris Teeter, #DontHidePlanB:
(You may even be retweeted by Henrietta the Plan B Dragon!)
Why is access to emergency contraception important to you? Let us know! We are hoping to use these stories to highlight the importance of emergency contraception! Plus you can stay anonymous if you want!
#DontHidePlanB Returns to Harris Teeter for Five-Year Emergency Contraception Over The Counter Anniversary Actions
Reproaction will continue to put pressure on Harris Teeter until it joins the 76 percent of chain retailers who already stock Plan B One Step on the shelf. Follow #DontHidePlanB for more updates on this campaign.
Harris Teeter’s efforts to silence its customers isn’t going to stop Reproaction from continuing to take bold direct action.