First up–some good news (if you’re a woman in Alaska), via Bush v. Choice, and the Alaska State Medical Board, who voted down a proposal that would have required a woman to have a doctor’s appointment before accessing emergency contraception.
[…]The action came a day after the board heard and reviewed public comment that overwhelmingly urged the board to continue to allow women to get the so-called morning-after pills from pharmacists.
Emergency contraception is a pill that prevents pregnancies from starting. It is not the same as RU-486, a drug that’s taken to abort a fetus. Doctors supporting quicker access to emergency contraception say it should be taken within 72 hours of sex to prevent pregnancy, but it’s better to take it within 12 hours.
Right now, women can go right to a participating pharmacist to get the pills. The medical board’s proposal would have required women to have a doctor’s exam prior to getting the drug.
Dr. John Middaugh, longtime state epidemiologist, told the board on Thursday there’s no medical or scientific justification for the change. The board’s proposal would limit, if not eliminate, women’s access to this drug, he said.
“We all know that nationally, politics have interceded,” Middaugh said. “Please don’t let the politics trump science and undermine the integrity of the state medical board.”[…] (emphasis mine)
Good luck with that one. Especially under this administration’s politics. Remember this woman who used to work at the FDA? Now onto to some bad news, which also serves as a reminder why every emergency room in the country should have EC available for sexual assault/rape victims, so called “conscience clauses” should be eliminated, and why EC should be made over-the-counter. An Arizona woman who was the victim of sexual assault was denied access to EC at the one pharmacy she could find to have the drug in stock (again via Bush v. Choice). Apparently, the pharmacist on duty had one of those spur-of-the-moment “moral objections.” Riiight.
[…]After a sexual assault one recent weekend, a young Tucson woman spent three frantic days trying to obtain the drug to prevent a pregnancy, knowing that each passing day lowered the chance the drug would work.
While calling dozens of Tucson pharmacies trying to fill a prescription for emergency contraception, she found that most did not stock the drug.
When she finally did find a pharmacy with it, she said she was told the pharmacist on duty would not dispense it because of religious and moral objections. (emphasis mine)
[…]Yet, family-planning agencies say they’ve seen a 60 percent increase in demand for the drug in recent years. The statistics are creating what advocates say is a frightening situation for some women. But others are glad pharmacists have a choice.
Women who report sexual assaults to police receive treatment, examination and the immediate offer of emergency contraception at a local emergency room, according to the policy of most Tucson hospitals.
But, like many sexual assault victims, the 20-year-old woman did not report the assault because she felt traumatized and guilty she had put herself in a situation that left her vulnerable. She was mistakenly locked outside a gathering at a friend’s house and accepted the offer of a neighbor to stay at his place.
“This (sex) was with someone I did not even know and did not want to have intercourse with, and I am in no place now to have children,” she said. “I just don’t think this should be the pharmacist’s decision.”
Oh but I’m sure the anti-choice/anti-EC wingnuts aiding this phenomenon all throughout the country, and the pharmacist who denied you, would be happy to throw a baby-shower for you, should you find yourself pregnant. Perhaps the pharmacist would be happy to adopt the hypothetical future child, and even invite your rapist over for a cigar when he takes it home from the hospital (severe sarcasm).
The manager of the Fry’s pharmacy at 3920 E. Grant Road, where the refusal occurred, offered to find another location where the prescription could be filled, according to a Fry’s spokeswoman. But the young woman said she was offered no other options.[…]
But a friend with the sexual assault victim that night strongly disputed that account.
“He (the manager) said he would fill it himself if we could get there before his shift ended, within 10 minutes,” said Sabrina Fladness, a University of Arizona student and owner of a computer service business.
“But we were more than 10 minutes away, so that was impossible. So he said we would have to come back the next morning” – after the shift of the refusing pharmacist ended.
“He made no provision for getting it that night,” she said.
The two also attempted to obtain the drug at a Planned Parenthood clinic, but could not afford the $70 cost and apparently were not informed that Planned Parenthood will work out payment on a sliding scale fee.[…]
But the biggest roadblock to obtaining emergency contraception was that most pharmacies simply do not stock it, Fladness said. She said she called nearly 50, before finding two that had it and agreed to dispense it.[…]
Sigh. There is no end to this. Too bad it’s the victim feeling the shame and guilt, when it belongs to her rapist, and now some self-righteous pharmacist, who should join the clergy if he wants to bitch about “morals” and force them on people. Ugh. And finally onto a very interesting list I found on WithdrawMiers.org.
American Conservative Union
Mark Moller, Cato Supreme Court Review
Republican National Coalition For Life
Judge Robert Bork
Young Americas Foundation […]
Read the rest of the list of ‘Advocates’ (not all are on the ‘withdraw’ portion of the list). Very interesting. Well the IWF still support the Miers’ nomination and last I heard Dobson still does, so maybe Bush isn’t entirely shit-out-of-luck just yet. Meanwhile the National Organization for Women is launching a ‘Speak out for Women’s Lives’ campaign, in hopes of swaying Senators to vote ‘no’ on Miers. Not that many of them would vote ‘no’ on Miers should she come up for a confirmation vote, because some of them (ie: the Democratic Senators) would rather roll over and play dead, then dare stand up for reproductive rights (or stand up for anything their party platform alleges they would).
Feminist Majority and others are planning a public protest this Thursday at the Fry’s store where this happened.
I’m very sorry, but I just accidently deleted someone’s post by hitting the wrong button. It was a short post, at least.
If you posted here a little before noon pacific time, and you don’t see your post here, please repost it. And again, I’m really sorry.
“The two also attempted to obtain the drug at a Planned Parenthood clinic, but could not afford the $70 cost ”
Sorry, I’m English and not sure how these things work in America. Why does the drug cost so much from PP (considering it is only Â£25 here)? Would it have been less from the pharmacy – and if it is less and the pharmacy why? Surely PP would want to keep it as low cost as possible?
VK, does the English government subsidize the cost of the drug in England?
The NHS susidizes the cost if you get it prescribed (then it free, as a contraceptive doesn’t have the standard prescription charge of Â£6). I don’t believe the over the counter cost is in any way subsidized (although is possibly kept down by the fact that you can get if free, so no-one is gonna pay massive amounts for it and the commercial companies keep the cost down so that it sells at all – no idea how true this might be).
The point was why is a organisation (PP) that has every motive to subsidize the drug working out more expensive than a profit making pharmacist – I’m very confused!