More on "Moral Refusal" and women
dogemperor printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon May 08, 2006 at 11:33:14 AM EST
(This is a repost of an article I have previously posted in my diary here, which contains original comments.)

Of particular interest is a new article in the (Seattle) Stranger which involves yet another case of "moral refusal" involving pharmacists, the first time a women's clinic is filing malpractice claims to protect the rights of their patients to receive care...and some ugly confirmation of trends that I've noted in two previous articles in this series.

I noted in two previous articles--"Every Zygote is Sacred", or "Can I have my birth control, already?" and "Moral Refusal" extends to healthcare in general--on how the increasing use of "conscience clauses" by pharmacists and other professionals puts not only women obtaining "The Pill" and Plan B at risk, but potentially all medical aid and care for certain populations (people who have to take drugs of which one medical indication is for STDs, HIV patients, and LGBT people period).

The Stranger article gives disturbing confirmation of a trend wherein dominionist medical care professionals are now starting to refuse to give even lifesaving, medically indicated drugs which cannot be used to induce abortion because a women's clinic was involved somewhere in the process:

Cedar River Clinics, a women's health and abortion provider with facilities in Renton, Tacoma, and Yakima, filed a complaint with the Washington State Department of Health this week alleging three instances where pharmacists raising moral objections refused to fill prescriptions for Cedar River clients. The complaint includes one incident at the Swedish Medical Center outpatient pharmacy in Seattle. According to the complaint, someone at the Swedish pharmacy said she was "morally unable" to fill a Cedar River patient's prescription for abortion-related antibiotics. Cedar River's complaint quotes its Renton clinic manager's May 17, 2005, e-mail account: "Today, one of our clients asked us to call in her prescription... to Swedish outpatient pharmacy. [We] called the prescription in... and spoke with an efficient staff person who took down the prescription. A few minutes later, this pharmacy person called us back and told us she had found out who we were and she morally was unable to fill the prescription." (Cedar River thinks their client eventually got her prescription filled.)

Cedar River's complaint, dated April 10, summarizes: "In each of the situations, we believe the pharmacist displayed behavior that was biased, unprofessional, and unethical. We are concerned that this type of poor treatment may be becoming a trend."

Yes, you read that right.  The patient was refused--not Plan B, not "the pill", not Zovirax--but antibiotics designed to prevent a septic abortion.

The article continues:

The complaint also includes an incident from November 2005 in Yakima, in which a pharmacist at a Safeway reportedly refused to fill a Cedar River patient's prescription for pregnancy-related vitamins. The pharmacist reportedly asked the customer why she had gone to Cedar River Clinics and then told the patient she "didn't need them if she wasn't pregnant."

Yes, a dominionist pharmacist assumed a woman who went to a women's clinic went there to have an abortion and refused her medically indicated prenatal support on that basis alone.  (The old yarn telling people to "assume" on the basis it "makes an ass out of U and me" comes to mind.)

No matter that a lot of poor women go to those clinics NOT to have abortions but to have prenatal checkups to make sure the babies they plan to bring into the world have the best start.

In fact, in many cases, refusal to give them antibiotics can prevent them from ever having babies--non-abortion indications for antibiotics include treatment of some STDs (such as chlamydia and gonorrhea) which can destroy fertility as well as non-STD, non-abortion related uterine infections that can prevent women from becoming pregnant.  There's also at least one indication that antibiotic treatment is lifesaving that doesn't involve abortions at all--syphilis is curable if caught in the early stages with antibiotics, but if untreated leads to insanity, disfigurement and eventual death.

The article notes this is such a severe problem in Washington State that the state pharmacy board is considering dropping the whole concept of "conscience clauses":

Next week, the Washington State Board of Pharmacy (WSBP) will begin deliberating on rules that will determine whether pharmacists can cite "conscientious, moral, or religious reasons" in refusing to fill prescriptions for drugs like Plan B, the well-known emergency contraception pill. The board hopes to have rules in place as early as this summer.

The seven-member board, appointed by the governor, issues pharmacist licenses and regulates pharmacists statewide. Obviously, if the board allows individual pharmacists to withhold medication on moral grounds, it will have implications beyond a woman's access to things like Plan B, antibiotics, or vitamins. For example, self-righteous pharmacists could prevent a woman from getting birth control pills if she couldn't supply a marriage license; prevent a recovering alcoholic from getting Antabuse; or stop someone from getting an AIDS cocktail.

This is not just an idle worry--dominionist pharmacists have refused to dispense "the Pill" at all to women (because of the claims in the "pro-life" community that "the pill" and any other drug or device that potentially prevents implantation is an abortifacient--claiming pregnancy starts at fertilisation rather than implantation) and at the beginning of the HIV crisis there were pharmacists who were refusing to dispense the drug cocktails necessary for treatment.  (In fact, at least one state senator from Alabama--Hank Erwin, a radio-preacher -cum-politician who has connections with Roy Moore and even claimed that Hurricane Katrina was an act of divine retribution--has pushed for legislation mandating labels on all HIV medication admonishing users to practice a "more responsible lifestyle".

The usual players seem to be involved in this case fighting against this--the Alliance Defense Fund (not entirely surprising) is fighting for "conscience clauses" and their expansion, whilst the Northwest Women's Law Center is filing briefs showing a pattern where people are refused care:

"Pharmacists should not be able to elevate their personal beliefs over the needs of the patient," says Amy Luftig, deputy director of public policy at Planned Parenthood Network of Washington. Luftig offered several anecdotes of refusal stories--including one of a young couple seeking emergency contraception in the Central District who were lectured by the pharmacist about sex--but says most women are too embarrassed or stigmatized to go public with a complaint like the one Cedar River filed on behalf of its clients. (Indeed, until this week, pharmacy board director Steven Saxe says, the board had not received any complaints.) Luftig says Planned Parenthood is now posting signs in its clinics asking people for their refusal stories.

Are misnamed, and a pharmacist should know that.  They're taken before pregnancy by women trying to conceive, during pregnancy, and after it by women who are breastfeeding.  Refusing them on the grounds that you don't need them if you're not pregnant is ignorant as well as unprofessional.

by velvetpage on Sun Jun 18, 2006 at 08:10:59 AM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Terror At Planned Parenthood: Facing The Consequences Of The Far Right's Lies
In the wake of Friday's horrific shootings at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, we're hearing calls to deescalate the rhetoric around the......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Progressives Are Taking Up Religious Freedom Day
In the heat of our political moment, we sometimes don't see how our future connects deeply to our past. But the Christian Right does......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Freedom vs. Fear: Restricting Religious Liberty Isn't The Answer To Terrorism
Last week, a community meeting was held in Spotsylvania County, Va., to discuss plans by a group of Muslims who want to relocate and......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Christian Right Electoral Hegemony, Rising in the States
This is a revised, updated and retitled post I did on the long term trend of significant political progress of the Christian Right and......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Who's Been Naughty, Who's Been Nice?: The AFA Explains It All For You
If you're like me, you've been sitting around anxiously awaiting the release of the American Family Association's "Naughty or Nice" list of retailers for......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
U.S. Department Of Judeo-Christian Values?: Kasich Proposes New Religious Propaganda Arm
According to some polls, the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination is Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who believes that ancient Egyptians built......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
Scripture Stories: Religious Right Claims About The `Aitken Bible' Don't Hold Up
Tomorrow several conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives plan to hold a public reading of the Aitken Bible on the East Front......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
The Tallest Statue in the Nation of an Individual
Many a day I drove on I 45 past the statue of Sam Houston.  The monument to the statesman is the largest in the......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
Honoring Everyone Who Served: A Veterans Day Reflection
In 1952, a private group sought permission from government officials to erect a large cross atop Mt. Soledad near San Diego. They did it......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
One Million Maniacs?: AFA Attacks Magazine For Highlighting Family Headed By Same-Sex Couple
I have a daughter named Claire who is 21 years old and working her first job in journalism since graduating from college. I'm awfully......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
What Catholic Neo-Confederates Don't Want You To Know About Secession
During the summer of 2013 I wrote several posts about Catholic Neo-Confederates. My purpose was to explain the activities of libertarians such as Tom......
By Frank Cocozzelli (10 comments)
Sex And Common Sense: Texas Public School Reconsiders `Chastity' Speaker
A self-appointed expert on sex and relationships won't speak at an El Paso, Texas, high school - for now.Jason Evert runs an outfit called......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Two Trials that Impacted American Religion
Silent movie, Birth of a Nation, became the first blockbuster screen phenomena.  Civil Rights groups deplored the production and sought to ban it.  It......
By wilkyjr (3 comments)
The Francis Trajectory.
The recent dust-up over the meeting between Pope Francis and culture warrior Kim Davis has caused the Pontiff's stock to fall somewhat among liberals.......
By Frank Cocozzelli (11 comments)
Taking Care Of Business: Religious Right Group Plans `Religious Liberty' Ratings For Companies
My inbox this morning contained a press release from the American Family Association (AFA). The Tupelo, Miss.-based Religious Right group has exciting news: It......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)

Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (2 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (3 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (4 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.