Store Locks Up Pregnancy Tests & Women Are Pissed

Pregnancy tests
Ellie Blackwood/Facebook

While it's not uncommon for stores to keep certain products in a security case -- in attempt to ward off shoppers desperate for a "five-finger discount" -- a store's decision to lock up pregnancy tests is drawing fire, sparking a much needed discussion about gender discrimination that often happens in plain view and goes unchecked.

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Ellie Blackwood posted a photo of locked pregnancy tests in a Woolworths store on the Australian company's Facebook page on May 29 that just might change the way you feel when it comes to the extra hurdles a woman in need of a test would have to take ... and whether or not said hurdles are truly necessary. 

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"I was wondering why your pregnancy tests are stored in electronic cases that require women and girls to seek permission before they can purchase?" Blackwood posted with the photo. "It certainly can't be because they are deemed a luxury or expensive item, because the more costly nicobate [sic] product next to the test is sitting unsecured on the shelf."

Birth control
Ellie Blackwood/Facebook

"Can you now imagine someone too ashamed to purchase a pregnancy test at the checkout amongst their other groceries, going to the customer service desk as asking 'steve the store manager' to help the unlock this electronic box?" Blackwood wrote in a follow-up Facebook comment.

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Woolworths responded to Ellie's concerns in a Facebook comment stating the company intended "to reduce the risk of stock loss as much as possible," but will remove the pregnancy tests from the security cases.

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Woolworths/Facebook

As you might've guessed, people took to social media to chime in. Some praise Ellie for raising concern over locked pregnancy tests and Woolworths' decision to remove the casing ...

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... Others, however, feel those making a "big deal" about secured pregnancy tests are missing the point ...

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... Or are using it as a way to promote "feminist political statements."

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Whether you agree with Ellie or not, one thing appears to be quite clear: The shame some women feel when it comes to preventive care and their bodies is real and nothing new. 

Just last year, a Reddit user shared the embarrassing story of a retail pharmacist shaming her for using contraception -- to the point of yelling "It's birth control, right?!" in front of other guests every time the unnamed woman would pick up her prescription every month -- that helped give a voice to other women who've also felt humiliated in similar situations.

It's saddening to think about the horrible experiences women have endured in the name of birth control, or even buying a pregnancy test, for that matter. One can only hope we, as a society, can do our part to help remove any and all shame when it comes to pregnancy and pregnancy prevention so those already anxious about purchasing these items -- in fear of embarrassing encounters and shaming comments -- won't feel discouraged from doing so.

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