Friday, November 12, 2004
Of course we expect our politicians to lie. But should we expect them to enact legislation mandating that pregnant women be lied to by their doctors? The leggy starlets at BlondeSense tipped us off to a very fine (we almost said "choice") rant by their occasional collaborator Jaye of Winding Road in Urban Area, who had just come across the following item from the AP wire:
Women seeking abortions in Mississippi must first sign a form indicating they've been told abortion can increase their risk of breast cancer. They aren't told that scientific reviews have concluded there is no such risk.Go read the rant. You will notice a reference to pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for birth-control pills; if that strikes you as odd, then by all means read the story below. (Every other blog we visit has linked to it already, but we just found out that the five-hundredth linker wins a free pair of socks):
Similar information suggesting a cancer link is given to women considering abortion in Texas, Louisiana and Kansas, and legislation to require such notification has been introduced in 14 other states.
For a year, Julee Lacey stopped in a CVS pharmacy near her home in a Fort Worth suburb to get refills of her birth-control pills. Then one day last March, the pharmacist refused to fill Lacey's prescription because she did not believe in birth control.UPDATE: Our esteemed colleague Avedon Carol quoted the following shrewd insight from a highly amusing post on abstinence-only education by Amanda Marcotte at Mouse Words:
"I was shocked," says Lacey, 33, who was not able to get her prescription until the next day and missed taking one of her pills. "Their job is not to regulate what people take or do. It's just to fill the prescription that was ordered by my physician."
Some pharmacists, however, disagree and refuse on moral grounds to fill prescriptions for contraceptives. And states from Rhode Island to Washington have proposed laws that would protect such decisions.
Mississippi enacted a sweeping statute that went into effect in July that allows health care providers, including pharmacists, to not participate in procedures that go against their conscience. South Dakota and Arkansas already had laws that protect a pharmacist's right to refuse to dispense medicines. Ten other states considered similar bills this year.
The American Pharmacists Association, with 50,000 members, has a policy that says druggists can refuse to fill prescriptions if they object on moral grounds, but they must make arrangements so a patient can still get the pills. Yet some pharmacists have refused to hand the prescription to another druggist to fill.
To hang up the snark for a minute, [what] more than anything burns me up about the abstinence-only crowd is that they are always bleating about the "consequences" of premarital sex as if these consequences are mere acts of god that we have no control over, when of course the high rate of "consequences" are attributable to the lack of sex education and access to health services that the abstinence-only crowd has agitated for. They want to tell kids that "decisions determine destiny" while avoiding the fact that their decision to agitate for ignorance has determined our destiny as a country that's up to its neck in unplanned pregnancy, STD's, and HIV.