Birth Control Pills
Photo: Don Farrall, Photodisc, Getty Images
The latest Republican attack on women's health and lives is occurring in Missouri where the Republican-controlled state senate has passed a bill to let pharmacies refuse to stock any drugs that the owners have any sort of personal objection to. The purpose is to make it easier to deny women access to contraception and I think that the expectation is that the drugs which will be "objected" to will be contraceptives of various sorts - especially morning-after pills.
This law would fit in well with attempts to give pharmacists the ability to simply refuse to fill any prescriptions they personally object to - so-called "conscience clauses." In those situations, though, there is the possibility of another pharmacist being on duty who can fill the disputed prescription. Under the new Republican measure, however, that would be eliminated entirely.
If the bill were to become law, pharmacies across the state would be able to keep all forms of contraception off the shelves; meaning, even if a woman has a prescription from her doctor, a pharmacy could make the final decision regarding her health. For women who live in rural areas where pharmacies are few and far between, this legislation would force them to travel unnecessary distances to find a pharmacy willing to fill their prescriptions. Rape victims would be especially hit hard because pharmacies would be able to deny them emergency contraception.
This is just the latest battle being waged by Missouri Republicans against contraception. Last month, a federal judge struck down a Missouri law exempting employers from providing contraception to their female employees. Missouri Republicans continued their war on women, introducing a bill designed to allow doctors and hospitals to refuse to provide reproductive services to women. Apparently the pharmacy bill is insurance for Republicans. If they can't allow doctors to deny women birth control, they will give pharmacies the ability to do just that.
Source: Addicting Info
There can, on occasion, be valid medical reasons to not fill a prescription for contraception - like, for example, a dangerous interaction with other drugs a woman is taking. Personal objections, religious or secular, are not valid reasons to fill any prescription, including prescriptions for contraception. No pharmacist, nurse, or doctor has the authority to decide that contraceptives are immoral and should not be dispensed, either in general or to particular women.
What still amazes me, though, is how some people continue to take at face value the various excuses, explanations, and rationalizations which Republicans try to give for laws like this. No one who has been paying the least bit of attention to politics over the past decade or so can fail to have noticed the diverse and consistent efforts to block women's access to sexual and reproductive healthcare: abortion, contraception, health screenings, vaccines, etc.