Published Online: Sunday, April 1, 2007

Abortion rights activists have launched a nationwide campaign to "spank" community pharmacists who do not stock Plan B (levonorgestrel).

The drive, which is directed by the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), urges women across the country to either "thank" their local pharmacists for carrying the OTC drug or "spank" them for failing to do so. In calling for pharmacist spankings, NARAL urges its supporters to "take a moment to send a note...expressing your disappointment" over the store's decision not to carry Plan B.

Sample "spanking" letters being circulated by NARAL suggest that women urge pharmacies around the country to reconsider their refusal to stock the OTC. "Having a backup birth-control method to prevent unintended pregnancy is an important option for women in our community," the suggested NARAL letter says. "The FDA's decision to allow adults 18 and older to purchase [Plan B] without a prescription could help women in our community prevent unintended pregnancy, but only if pharmacies, like yours, stock it."

Corresponding "thank-you" letters to pharmacies that do carry the contraceptive advise pharmacy managers that "I will be sure to tell my friends and family about the availability of Plan B at your store."

Officials at NARAL said that, in addition to the thank-or-spank letter-writing drive, they plan to "work with leading pharmacy chains to guarantee that American women have access to a safe and effective means of preventing unintended pregnancy."

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