Freedom's just another word

So, randomly web-surfing today, I wound up following a link to this page. Basically, it calls for people to join in the fight against Wal-Mart's "Right-Wing War on Women." While there is the obligatory sop toward gender discrimination, the main thrust of the page is that Wal-mart is choosing to deny legally available emergency contraceptive pills to women. (Illinois is the exception, where pharmacies must, by law, carry the pills.)

Unfortunately, I see this as a big losing issue. Or, rather, it should be. See, Wal-mart is, despite it's collasal size and ubiquitous nature, a business. It's owned and operated by people, who choose what products to carry. If Wal-mart doesn't want to stock emergency contraception, it's their right. If they don't want to carry Eminem, mangoes or Star Wars toys, then they shouldn't have to do so.

Some people will say "But, some women can't go anywhere other than Wal-mart. Wal-mart should have to stock EC, because these women have no other choice." While it is an emotionally compelling argument, it doesn't hold water. If the laws can force Wal-mart to carry EC, laws can ban Wal-mart (or any other store) from carrying tobacco, alcohol, or Oreo cookies.

As a final thought - firearms and ammunition are legal commodities. I wonder how many people that want Wal-mart to carry EC would be willing to fight, with the same fervor, against a move to stop Wal-mart from carrying firearms.


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