A Drugstore Worker Refused to Sell His Partner Condoms. Now He's Scheduled a Vasectomy

“We can, but I won’t because of my faith.”

Person in suit at urologist appointment, private treatment of male diseases

After a clerk at a national chain refused to sell a couple condoms because of "religious conviction," the man scheduled a vasectomy.

Nate Pentz, who lives in Minnesota, was shopping at a Walgreens in Hayward, Wisconsin, with his partner, Jess. As Jess was checking out, Pentz says the cashier refused to sell her condoms.

"We went to Hayward to get some groceries and a stop at @Walgreens because we had left Jess birth control at home," Pentz shared in a series of tweets posted on July 3 that have since gone viral. "As Jess was checking out, cashier John told her he couldn't sell her the condoms."

Pentz tweeted that his partner replied, "Oh, I got them from over there." He then shared that the cashier responded: "We can, but I won't because of my faith."

In another tweet, Pentz said that his partner told the clerk her desire to purchase condoms was "none of your business."

"I can get a manager here, do you want me to finish checking these things?" the clerk replied, according to Pentz's tweet. "Not from you," he says his partner responded.

Pentz also shard a screenshot of a complaint his partner made to the store, after they were prompted to "describe their recent experience."

"At store #11857 in Hayward, WI, cashier John refused to sell me condoms because of his ‘faith,’” the complaint read. “He proceeded to embarrass me in front of other customers for my reproductive choices.” 

In a statement to NBC News, a Walgreens spokesperson said that the company's policies "are designed to ensure we meet the needs of our patients and customers while respecting the religious and moral beliefs of our team members."

"The instances are rare, however when a team member has a moral or religious conviction about completing a transaction, they are required to refer the customer to another employee or manager on duty who will complete the transaction, which is what occurred in this statement," the spokesperson added.

On Thursday, July 21, in a follow-up tweet, Pentz wrote: “After the incident at Walgreens, I made an appointment for a vasectomy.” He also shared two people's personal stories about obtaining permanent birth control —  a man shared his vasectomy experience, while a woman shared the experience of getting her tubes tied.

TODAY reached out to Walgreens for further comment on Thursday, and did not hear back at the time of publication.

According to a May analysis of Google Trends and search volumes by Innerbody Research, a home health product research company, at-home searches for vasectomies increased 99% after a draft opinion overturning Roe v Wade was published earlier that week.

After Roe v Wade was overturned, online searches for "male birth control 2022" increased 2,471%, according to an analysis of Google Trends conducted by Power, a search platform for clinical trials.

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas, in a concurring opinion, argued that the Court "should reconsider" cases that established the right to same-sex marriage and contraception.

On Thursday, the House passed the Right To Contraception Act, which if signed into law would establish a right in federal law for people to access and use contraceptives. The final vote was 228-195, with all but eight of the House Republicans voting "no."

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