(CNSNews.com) - A pro-abortion group is praising the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy for its unanimous decision requiring all Wal-Mart stores in the state to stock the "morning-after" pill.
NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts said it is "delighted" over the state board's decision in favor of three women who challenged the store for refusing to carry the emergency contraception in its pharmacies.
"This decision reflects the values of fairness and privacy that a vast majority of Massachusetts residents support," said NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Executive Director Melissa Kogut in a statement. She said the pharmacy board did "the right thing."
Kogut called on all Wal-Mart stores throughout the nation to dispense the Plan B emergency contraception "and replace its current policy of discrimination with one that puts women's health first."
The pro-abortion group sent over 26,000 messages from all 50 states to Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., calling on the retailer to reverse its policy and carry the "morning-after pill."
"The message from Americans is clear -- the public wants pharmacies to be a resource for medical care, not a barrier," said Kogut.
The Associated Press reports that Wal-Mart spokesman Dan Fogleman, who did not hear about the pharmacy board's decision, said Tuesday that the company would comply with any order. The retailer already carries the contraceptive pill in Illinois, where it is required under state law.
"Just a few days ago, a Wal-Mart spokesperson indicated that for the first time Wal-Mart may be rethinking its policy. The plaintiffs here in Massachusetts can be proud that their voices have been heard. We will be sure that the voices of Americans all over the country will continue to be heard as well," said Kogut.
The morning-after pill "has tremendous potential to reduce unintended pregnancy and the need for abortion but only if women have access to this back-up method soon after unprotected sex, contraceptive failure or rape," Kogut concluded.
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