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.



Display:
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


Thoughts on the Finale of the Finn Debacle
Now that Bishop Robert Finn has finally resigned his leadership of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri -- here are some final thoughts......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
DeVos and School Privatization Funders Backing Philadelphia Democratic Mayoral Candidate
The Betsy DeVos-led American Federation for Children (AFC) and its core funders have spent more than fifteen million dollars in Pennsylvania over the last......
By Rachel Tabachnick (0 comments)
Religious Right Rabbi: Christian Coalition Favorite Daniel Lapin Resurfaces
Back in the 1990s when I was regularly covering the antics of TV preacher Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition, one part of the job was......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Christian Right leaders escalate anti-LGBTQ threats
As marriage equality has advanced around the country, and the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on the issue in June, threatening language......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Could Support for LGBTQ Rights Disrupt the Coalition of Jews and Evangelical Christian Zionists?
Some might say that the relationship between the conservative US Jewish community and Evangelicals is inviolable, with support for Israel being the cement that......
By Bill Berkowitz (1 comment)
Whine Festival: Second-Tier Religious Right Leaders Still Don't Like Marriage Equality
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage equality case.In preparation for this, a sad collection of......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Whither the Christian Right in the Democratic Party?
You don't have to be a Hillary hater (and I'm not) to recognize that Clinton and other Democratic Party leaders have had long and......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Bishop Robert Finn Resigns Leadership of St. Joseph-Kansas City Diocese
Bishop Robert W. Finn, the Opus Dei Bishop who was convicted by a Missouri court for failing to report suspected child abuse by a......
By Frank Cocozzelli (5 comments)
Two Overlooked Indiana Outcomes that Could Haunt the Christian Right
I think there are two underreported features of the fallout from Indiana that we should make sure do not get lost in the hoo......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Terms, Definitions & Glossaries for Writing about the Religious Right
One of the challenges in writing about the Religious Right and what to do about it is the matter of terms and definitions. That's......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
President Obama Can Help Stop Religious Discrimination
Barry Lynn, the longtime executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, recently posted an important essay at Huffington Post. In......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Marriage Matters: Thoughts On The Recent Unpleasantness In Indiana
Last week I taped an interview with Sister Maureen Fielder, host of "Interfaith Voices," a popular radio program exploring religious issues that is carried......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
The Campaign Against Pro-LGBTQ Denominations
The recent endorsement of marriage equality by the Presbyterian Church (USA) seemed like a good moment to discuss the campaign to divide and conquer......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Upcoming Conference: From Abortion Rights to Social Justice
The 29th annual conference From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom will be held from April 10-12 at Hampshire......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Why Is Bishop Robert Finn Still In Power?
As I reported in September 2014, Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has been under Vatican investigation to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)

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 (0 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 (0 comments)
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 (3 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 (1 comment)
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 (1 comment)
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 (5 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 (5 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)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (2 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 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.