Get on the Girl Train

Here’s a good example of why high-traffic male bloggers who normally don’t cover women’s issues should perhaps consider doing so:
Pharmacists for Life was birthed in part because of the number of pharmacists who are facing legal action for refusing to fill birth-control pills on the basis of religious and moral objections. With the morning-after pill already on the scene -- and the possibility it may soon become almost as simple to buy as aspirin -- members of the organization are deeply concerned about legal action that may be forthcoming against their colleagues, if they refuse to provide the medication.

For instance, Pharmacists for Life is currently following the case of Neil Noesen, a pharmacist in Wisconsin, who in 2002 worked as an independent contractor at a K-Mart pharmacy and refused to refill a woman's birth-control prescription because it was against his religion. Amazingly, Wisconsin responded by trying to take away Noesen's license to dispense medication in that state.

Because of such cases, and the potential for others like it, Pharmacists for Life is calling for federal and state lawmakers to pass "conscience clause" legislation that would protect the rights of pharmacists who wish to avoid dispensing hormone-containing birth-control pills, which can operate by abortive means -- that is, by taking a human life…

"We don't take a stand on contraceptives," said Barbara Holt of North Carolina Right to Life, "However, the national (Right to Life) organization worked on the federal level to make sure there was legislation that provided a 'conscious clause' for health-care providers and hospitals in particular so they don't have to provide services which are against their beliefs."

Mrs. Holt is referring to the Hyde-Weldon Conscience Protection Amendment, which was signed into law by President Bush last December as part of the 2005 Health and Human Services appropriations bill. The legislation grants freedom of choice to a "health-care entity," which means an individual physician or other health-care professional, a hospital, a provider-sponsored organization, a health maintenance organization, a health insurance plan, or any other kind of health-care facility, organization, or plan, does not have to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.
It’s also a good example of why women get annoyed when abortion is cited as an issue on which the Left should be willing to compromise. No. N-o. No. Because, see, they won’t stop at criminalizing abortion…they want to make it legal for doctors, pharmacists, and even EMT crews to be able to dispense healthcare services and drugs based on their own personal religious beliefs. First it will just affect women, especially women in highly conservative/religious areas, where there might not be a pharmacist for miles who is willing to fill a prescription for birth control.

But once that door’s been opened a crack, what’s to stop them from throwing it wide? Will healthcare workers be legally allowed to refuse medical care to someone of another religion? Will they be legally allowed to refuse medical care to gays and lesbians? Oh, wait—that’s already happening.

Disguised as legislation promoting one’s right to “protect one’s conscience,” Hyde-Weldon is just another step in eroding the rights of anyone who isn’t “them.” And while, as Rox says, you’re busy penning “the same 'ol Social Security post written 18 different ways by 27 different male bloggers, regurgitated day after day after day after day,” they’re coming after our rights, slowly but surely, doggedly trying to make our bodies property of the state again.

And guess what? We’re just a pit stop on the road that will eventually lead them to your door, too.

(Thanks to John at AMERICAblog, who actually writes about these things.)

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