Author Topic: Congress to consider birth control bill  (Read 1960 times)

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Offline TomS

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Congress to consider birth control bill
« on: April 14, 2005, 10:06:00 PM »
Congress to consider birth control bill

Proposal would ensure pharmacies fill prescriptions

From Lindy Royce
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Reports of pharmacists with particular religious and moral beliefs denying prescriptions for birth control have prompted legislation that would ensure all prescriptions are filled.

House and Senate backers unveiled a bill dubbed the Access to Legal Pharmaceuticals Act (ALPhA) on Thursday.

It would allow a pharmacist to refuse to fill a prescription only if the prescription can be passed to and filled by a co-worker at the same pharmacy.

According to NARAL Pro-Choice America, a reproductive rights group, legislators in 10 states are considering bills that would permit pharmacists to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions. A federal law, if passed, would pre-empt any state law.

"What have we come to in this country?" Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat and House sponsor of the bill, said Thursday morning at a rally on Capitol Hill. "We are merely saying, 'let the laws in this country stand.' Let a woman be treated with dignity. When she has a prescription from her doctor, that privacy should be respected."

Yet some want additional legislation to protect pharmacists who believe certain birth control drugs are forms of abortion, Karen Brauer, president of Pharmacists for Life, told the Reuters news agency. The group provides legal advice and support to pharmacists.

Brauer told Reuters she believes doctors will eventually begin ordering women to abort disabled children, or refuse to treat them after birth.

"They'll force women to kill their children ... It will be like China. It's the next logical step," she told Reuters.

The American Pharmacists Association favors letting pharmacists follow their conscience, but says customers should have alternative means of getting prescriptions, spokeswoman Susan Winckler told Reuters.

"Nobody has a right to come between any person and their doctor," Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat and co-sponsor, said Thursday. "Today they might not fill prescriptions for birth control pills. Tomorrow it could be painkillers for a cancer patient. Next year it could be medicine that prolongs the life of a person with AIDS or some other terminal disease."
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« Last Edit: April 14, 2005, 10:06:39 PM by TomS »

Offline Augustine

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Re: Congress to consider birth control bill
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2005, 10:59:20 AM »
What a crock - no one is inserting themselves between the doctor and patient.  Pharmecies last I checked were privately owned, and can choose to carry or not carry whatever products they see fit.  If someone doesn't like the service, they can of course go elsewhere.

I'm wondering what will happen to doctors themselves in situations like this (say, a doctor who refuses to prescribe birth control pills)?

This is the slippery slope which I think the Americans are finding themselves on.  Here in Canada it is much the same, though I think in many respects the process of decay is even further along.  In the name of "freedom" and "choice", what you'll find is that people are going to start being compelled to play along in catering to some peoples "choices."  I think this is something everyone needs to understand - while a lot of this is being sold under the banner of personal freedom, it is really a diametrically opposed "value" system, which is actually quite aggressive and has no interest in being anything but the "official religion" so to speak.  But then again, this all perhaps goes to the core of the very notion that it's even possible to have an "a-religious" government - in the end the "bargain amongst thieves" breaks down, and someone tries to assume control.  It's unavoidable - you cannot have a vacuum like this, when laws by their very nature touch upon ethical matters.  Someone's ethics will win out.  By an unsavory dedication to principles which are in fact revolutionary and seated in deeply anti-religious and atheistic currents from continental Europe, I think otherwise morally conservative, religious Americans have been boosters for the very thing which has allowed for their removal from the public square.

Offline Schultz

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Re: Congress to consider birth control bill
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2005, 11:18:02 AM »
If someone doesn't like the service, they can of course go elsewhere.

AMEN!  This is particularly true it today's world of mail-order/internet pharmacies, where a patient can get their prescriptions by mail.  My father gets most of his medication this way and he loves it.  There is nothing stopping people who are using the pill from this service.

It's just another tiny thing for people to complain about while they turn a blind eye to more pressing issues.
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Offline choirfiend

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Re: Congress to consider birth control bill
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2005, 11:33:17 AM »
Of course, the birth control pill they may be referencing might be Plan B, the day-after pill which can be abortive, not every day birth control (which still may be abortive and can have a myriad of detrimental side affects such as bone density loss. My friend is dealing with that right now--she's been taken off that drug and put on another, but she's lost 3/4 an inch of height, which is indicative of bone loss)....the issue partially at stake is that these privately owned pharmacy companies usually have policies that require their workers to do every perscription--so if you are a pharmacist (which takes YEARS of schooling, just like a doctor) you have no choice in the matter. Companies that don't carry certain birthcontrol or refuse to fill those perscriptions simply don't exist.  My roomate is a pharmacy student and I hear all about these kind of issues.

I believe that individual people should not be coerced into doing actions that go against their religion by the state or by private companies. Where options for alternative employment do not exist, how can you deny someone their livelihood, especially after 6-7years of school.  We do not want to turn into a France that will not allow religious insignia in schools, but nor do we want to become a state that controls what people can privately do in their own businesses. Making a law that allows people to follow their conscience while keeping their job seems to be a pretty decent compromise for the matter.
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Offline MsGuided

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Re: Congress to consider birth control bill
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2005, 12:31:47 PM »
Private pharmacies can stock what they wish to stock.  Chain pharmacies (ie. CVS/Eckerd/Rite Aid) pretty much stock anything and everything that is available, or they must have the ability to order it if need be.  Pharmacists at least in NY do not have to fill a prescription if doing so will be of some sort of ethical, moral or religious detriment to them.  But they MUST be able to find that person another pharmacist who will fill it for them.  If no other pharmacist is available and the person is not willing to go elsewhere, you MUST fill it.  I'm not sure if this is a new thing or not, but this is what I was taught last year.  I for one plan on not filling prescriptions for Plan B, since it has but one indication.  Other OC's can be used for birth control or for any myriad of problems/diseases where this type of hormone replacement is necessary.  I don't think it is practical to ask every woman taking birth control if she is using it to prevent pregnancy or if she is using it because she was found to have a cervical polyp or tumor that needs to be diminished.  I can't discriminate in that sense, so perhaps I will say a silent prayer as I fill it, who knows.  All I know is that you can not impose your will/beliefs on another person, which is why you must allow them another way of getting the meds they want.

I hope some of that made sense.

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Offline Augustine

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Re: Congress to consider birth control bill
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2005, 08:41:51 AM »
Well, this ultmatly may be a case where people will have to suffer negative consequences for their convictions.  That's not right (and puts to lie the "one nation under God" business), but it seems to be the way of things now in the western world, not just in the United States (in fact, things tend to be worse in this regard elsewhere, particularly in Europe.)

I find the way things are shaping up in the U.S. to be particularly sad though, if only because the "American tradition" seemed to always heavily emphasize personal freedom - and now this is being increasingly ignored, but rarely for "good" reasons.