Tuesday, February 15, 2005

This would set a bad precedent

Forget about birth control for a moment and imagine the repercussions of such a bill...
A Senate panel on Monday approved a bill designed to protect pharmacists and other Arizona health care professionals who refuse to dispense contraceptives based on religious or moral grounds. [azcentral.com | news]
A pharmacist could refuse any woman birth control pills based on religion. It's none of the pharmacists business, the decision to take the pills is between the patient and their doctor. Sometimes "the pill" is prescribed for reasons other than birth control.
Limiting access to the Pill, [Planned Parenthood Federation of America and others] now say, threatens a basic aspect of women's health care. An estimated 12 million American women use hormonal contraceptives, the most popular form of birth control in the United States after sterilization. The Pill is also widely prescribed by gynecologists and family doctors for other uses, such as clearing up acne, shrinking fibroids, reducing ovarian cancer risk, and controlling endometriosis. [Prevention.com]
If a doctor refuses to prescribe the pill that's one thing... Go to a different doctor (even this could be a problem with people in rural areas with no choice of doctors, not to mention no choice of pharmacy), but to refuse to fill a prescription is another thing entirely. If this had been in place when AIDS was thought to have been a purely homosexual disorder the people dying from it could have been refused medication based on religious belief for years after AIDS was discovered.

So what you may say we didn't have the drugs to treat AIDS at that time any way, but at that time, people were being prescribed medication to relieve the suffering of their inevitable death!

Let's take it from another angle, suppose your child has a venereal disease like Chlamydia. You could be refused antibiotics based on the religious belief that you have either sinned by having extramarital or premarital sex.

None of these scenarios is "out there"; these are realistic things that could happen. It's a bad idea to pass such a bill! I encourage you to write your representatives and tell them so!

My first response on this issue.
I like the bill and I'm going to vote it.

Repersentative John M.Allen

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