Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bearing the Fruit of Fascist Theocracy

To protect citizen's health care rights, Washington state regulators ruled that pharmacists may not refuse to dispense any medication based on personal convictions. In Washington state, a pharmacy owner and two pharmacists sued the Washington State Department of Health because the ruling infringed on their right to deny any medication based on their personal beliefs.

In this case, the pharmacists have issues with "Plan B", the "morning after" birth control pill.
Plan B works by using high doses of common birth control medication to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. Opponents regard it as a form of abortion. It is not the same as RU-486, the so called "abortion pill", and has no effect if a woman is already pregnant.
To my seemingly never ending irritation, these rogue pharmacists equate birth control with abortion, to which they seek to prevent access. I have already shared my views on abortion. Preventing access to legal birth control should be, in my view, illegal.

Last week a federal judge suspended the rule, to the delight of the rebel pharmacists who claimed it had violated their religious freedoms to obstruct women's ability to purchase critical medications in a safe and legal manner.
A preliminary injunction granted by U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton prevents the state from disciplining pharmacists who refuse to dispense the medication, known as Plan B, as long as they immediately refer patients to nearby sources.
By allowing pharmacists to delay medication, the injunction enables pharmacists to render the medication ineffective:
The injunction creates a system in which pharmacists can refuse to fill a request for Plan B if they refer customers to a nearby source. But that could effectively deny the drugs completely to residents in rural areas, said Jet Tilley, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Inland Northwest. Advocates argue that women must have access to the medication as soon as possible for it to be effective.
Does this mean that rural women who are denied "Plan B" medication based on a pharmacist's personal conviction, are sent to look for legal medication elsewhere, try but are unable to obtain their legal medication in time for it to be effective, can sue the rogue pharmacist and pharmacy for 18 years of child support? I want to know the answer to that.

Fortunately, State Senator, Karen Keiser, D-Kent, is working to propose legislation that will prohibit pharmacists from denying access to legal medications.

As much as these events anger me, they fit right in with the "rampant sexism" that is institutionally supported by the Bush administration. Under Bush:
W. David Hager chairman of the FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee does not prescribe contraceptives for single women, does not do abortions, will not prescribe RU-486 and will not insert IUDs. Hager believes that headaches, PMS and eating disorders can be cured by reading Scripture.
Predictably, Bush's FDA has been up to some real monkey business thwarting the makers of Plan-B in their quest for over-the-counter approval:

David Muir's report on the "morning-after" pill, or Plan B, on ABC's World News Tonight, included a conservative group's claim that allowing sales of the pill without a prescription would be unsafe, but provided no scientific evidence to support the claim, while omitting the fact that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) staff scientists and outside advisory panels have recommended that the FDA approve allowing over-the-counter sales.

And articles that confuse the whole issue don't help either:
And because Plan B can now be sold over the counter to most women and men 18 or older, he said, most people can get it without a pharmacist.
Excuse me but...the drug has been approved for sale, without a prescription, behind the counter, by pharmacists, to women who can prove they are at least 18 years of age--approval that this injunction allows pharmacists to ignore.

Welcome to Bush's Fascist Theocracy; we're soaking in it.

Thanks to my friend, Green Libertarian, who passed this news story along to me. I won't even mention what Ellie passed along. With friends like these, the rage never ends... peace.

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