Monday, March 28, 2005

The Religous Right Goes to Pharmacy School

If you think you ever might need birth control and thought that the religous right's self-righteous tantrums were only going to be aimed at gay folks, you might want to check this Washington Post article out.

It doesn't matter if you and your spouse have five kids and can't afford another, your pharmacist can decide not to fill your birth control prescription and freely lecture you about your evil nature in the process. And if they have it their way, some Pharmacists for Life will not let another pharmacist fill your prescription or even transfer it to a different pharmacy.

Have you heard this one?

A woman walks into a drug store with her five kids under the age of seven (well one of them isn't walking just yet) and with a shaky hand and bags under her eyes she hands the pharmacist a birth control prescription from her doctor, "Could you fill this please?"

The pharmacist looks at the prescription and smiles sweetly, "Oh, I really can't. You see, I believe in a culture of life."

"What?" She asks while shaking the fistfulls of candy bars from her kids' hands back into the 2 for 1 bin.

"Yes, you see neither you nor I should thwart the natural purpose for marriage. Haven't you been following those "Adam and Steve" stories in the news? No telling where all that's going to end, but it sure won't be in a birthing room!" The pharmacist smiles kindly at the woman's two oldest children who are using cigarette cartons as building blocks on the floor, "Surely you agree that marriage and (whispering) sex are for procreation." The woman is too dumbfounded to notice her toddler batting around a box of condoms while her four year old thumbs through a copy of Cosmo.

"Look, I've got about all of the culture or life I can handle at the moment. And if you don't want child number six on your payroll in nine months, you'd better fill this prescription."

"Anne Coulter is so right. You liberals get all bent out of shape if people don't see things exactly your way, don't you? Well, you and I will just havt to agree to disagree on this issue. But I want you to know I'm doing this out of love, if not for you, at least for that poor child whose birth you are so hell bent on preventing. Here's a family planning brochure from my church. You know, if you had a better sense of timing we might not even be having this conversation."

While the above situation might be a bizarre inconvenience in a large city, it could potentially be an expensive family problem in rural American towns with only one pharmacy. All I can say is phone ahead and make sure you don't let that prescription lapse if you have to drive an hour to find the nearest sane pharmacy.

In honor of all of my female (and potentially panicky male) readers I will call my pharmacy to ask if all of their pharmacists fill b.c. prescriptions. If they don't, I'll be shopping around for a new drugstore.

Welcome back to the 19th century. Please keep your legs and arms inside the car at all times and hold tightly to loose objects, except for your civil liberties. You won't be needing those anymore.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I realize I'm late in posting here, but I just found this site. It goes beyond merely the risk of another child. Some women I've talked to use birth control for treating things varying from cramps to skin problems, to life threatening anemia. So by refusing to dispense the meds they could be leading to the patient's death. I do understand why someone in their job would not want to feel forced to do something that they really found profoundly wrong/amoral. However, I think that is something they should consider before taking a job that requires them to such things. They can always take another job somewhere else. Perhaps they can get a job with an overtly discriminating faith based pharmacy so people will know to expect it there.
I don't know if it's true, but someone told me they tried to pass a law in Michigan so that medical professionals could refuse to treat homosexuals.
It's just disgusting and can only lead to more discrimination. Pharmacists do not have the right to pass judgement on their customers.
If a cigarette salesmen objects to selling cigarettes to an old man he shouldn't be selling cigarettes (which is much worse healthwise than any birth control pills) at all.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Troy said...

When I visited my pharamacy recently I asked my pharmacists if all of his staff fills birth control prescriptions. He looked at me like I was crazy. I told him about this predicament. He couldn't believe it and said if any of his staff started having problems with what doctors recommend they are in the wrong business.

I like the idea of faith-based pharmacies. Could help to locaclize the problem.

6:21 AM  

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