The Cincinnati-based grocery chain said if its pharmacists object to fulfilling a request, the store must "make accommodations to have that prescription filled for our customer."
"We believe that medication is a private patient matter," said Meghan Glynn, a Kroger spokeswoman. "Our role as a pharmacy operator is to furnish medication in accordance with the doctor's prescription or as requested by a patient."
Abortion rights activists in Georgia announced a statewide campaign Friday to raise awareness about the contraceptive
Among them was Carrie Baker, who said a Kroger pharmacist in her hometown of Rome, Ga., refused to supply her with the contraceptive. The 42-year-old married mother of two said she asked the store's manager in December to order the contraceptive but was told that the pharmacist refused, even though the decision contradicted company policy.
"I believe this was a responsible decision and the best way to care for my family and myself," she said. "But Kroger doesn't care."
Sold as Plan B, emergency contraception is a high dose of the drug found in many regular birth-control pills. It can lower the risk of pregnancy by up to 89 percent if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.
Girls 17 and younger still need a prescription to buy the drug, which the FDA made available over-the-counter to adults in August.
Supporters of the drug say widespread availability will cut down on unwanted pregnancies and abortions.
Critics argue it encourages promiscuity and 영월출장안마
unprotected sex and some consider it related to abortion, although it is different from the abortion pill RU-486.
Major pharmacy chains such as CVS Corp., Rite-Aid Corp. and Walgreen Co. also have pledged to ensure that customers can buy Plan B, even if one employee declines to provide service for reasons of conscience.