Thursday, June 16, 2005

On a pharmacist's right to choose

Okay, so the controversy over the pharmacist's conscience clause has been going for a while now, and I haven't really commented because other folks have said it better and besides, I'm not really sure which position I take. I mean, on the one hand, I completely support a doctor's right not to perform an abortion; I know doctors who (rightly) feel passionately about First Doing No Harm and as such are unwilling to perform abortions and/or prescribe the Morning After pill. However, respecting the rights of their patients, they're willing to refer said patients to a doctor who will. Why shouldn't a pharmacist who feels passionately about such things be able to do the same?

At the same time, though, I'm personally the consumer of birth control pills for reasons other than birth control. Whether or not my pills are ever going to go head-on against a sperm, they're also controlling a whole lot of other things happening in that particular system, and I'll be goll-durned if some pharmacist is going to sentence me to a life of cramps and bloating - and sentence the people around me to my irritability and weepiness - because he's afraid I might use it to murder a blastocyst. And for that matter, if I do choose to murder myself a blastocyst (or prevent its creation), I'll be goll-durned if some pharmacist is going to shake his head and cluck his tongue at me.

That's why I was so amused by a comment on a thread over at Pandagon. My Ponygirl is my new friend for the following brilliant suggestions:
I work for a major hospital, where the policy is such that a male nurse, should his religion prohibit him from touching females not in his family, can be protected from doing just that without endangering his job. But the hospital has to know about it. So, I don't think that these pharmacies would be in any way out-of-line in these conscience clause states to give each and every pharmacist they employ a sheet of all the different Rxs they distribute, and ask the pharmacists to check off any medications that they wouldn't fill. Then, the pharmacy needs to post those drugs that might not be filled clearly, before the woman even enters the store.
The other way to combat, this, of course, is to beat those little assholes at their own game. ... I say we need to get some hardcore feminists into the pharmacies in these conscience clause states, and have them deny Viagra and Cialis (could be used in the rape of a woman), Propecia (a baldness drug that might cause birth defects if a woman so much as handles a pill), and any other drug consumed by men that could even be tenuously linked to birth defects. I bet if all those bald, flacid old shits suddenly found themselves driving all over town to get their drugs, they'd want that law repealed damn quick.

We have our solution. I invite all you female pharmacists out there to refuse any prescriptions for any erectile dysfunction drug that might contribute to the rape of a woman, and any other drug that could cause birth defects. And then come back to tell us all about it. I still don't have my mind entirely made up about the whole thing, but I do know that conservative Christian male pharmacists don't get to dictate everyone else's conscience.

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