|Why Are We Fighting About Birth Control?
Author: Under the Cloak PM
In the United States, a current trend is taking place which could soon make it virtually impossible to get oral contraceptives.Rated: Fiction T - English - Words: 803 - Reviews: 12 - Published: 06-17-06 - id: 2194881
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Why Are We Fighting About Birth Control?
We are now in the twenty first century, which means people have more control over their fertility. This control will allow women to make decisions as to when they want start a family or if they do not want a family at all. Most people would think that the issue of birth control is not political one. However, these days birth control has become an issue of politics instead of health. Why has birth control become an issue of politics? Let's examine the issue of emergency contraception or the "morning after pill".
Stories have been reported of pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for, let's say Plan B which is a brand of emergency contraception. What the "morning after pill" does is prevent ovulation or fertilization. If taken up to seventy two hours (hours may vary depending on brand) it is more effective. It is very important to understand that EC's should only be used in emergencies (hence the name) and should not be used as a regular form of birth control. In January 2005 a woman in Milwaukee went to a local Walgreens to pick up ESP's after she and her partner had intercourse. The condom broke and to her surprise the pharmacist refused to fill her prescription and the pharmacist called her a "murderer" in front of everyone present. She didn't go to another pharmacy in fear of getting the same refusal, and the woman unnecessarily had an abortion.
There have been stories like this across the US and several states are considering bills that would allow pharmacist to refuse to fill EC prescriptions. Which is only a road block to make it much more difficult for women to get EC's, first a woman must get a prescription which could be a road block because it can take some time to get one. Then, she must go to the pharmacy and possibly have to face a pharmacist who won't dispense EC's because of his or her moral beliefs. There is also debate about whether EC's should be over the counter, as well as parental consent laws in regards to the age limit of girls who want EC's.
In other countries however, there doesn't seem to be much debate about access to EC's. In the United Kingdom for instance, a law was passed in 2001 allowing girls age sixteen and older to receive access to EC's without a prescription. This law was challenged by some anti-abortion groups, but in 2002 the law still remained on the books. In Canada just recently, their Health Minister had announced that Plan B would be available from pharmacist all across the country without a prescription. In 2002, France decided to allow school nurses to dispense EC's among junior high school girls due to the number of unintended pregnancies among the age group. There was opposition from the Roman Catholic Church, however France still allows junior high school girls access to EC's without prescription from nurses. A large number of European countries have allowed easy access to EC's. Even countries such as India, China, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Madagascar, and Cameroon allow access to EC's without prescription. Meanwhile in the US women have to jump through hoops just to get her pills, it is very clear that the US is still far behind on this issue while several other countries have moved ahead.
Even though pharmacists refusing to refill prescriptions are a minority, it's a growing trend across the United States. A pharmacist shouldn't be forced to do his or her job, and should not refuse a woman her right to access to EC's based on his or her moral beliefs. This shouldn't be an issue of whether a pharmacist has a right to refuse to dispense these pills just because it conflicts with their personal beliefs. I find it surprising that pharmacists believe that the "morning after pill" is some form of abortion. How did we end up in this position, why are we debating about whether a pharmacist should have the right not to dispense a drug based on their own personally beliefs? Due to this current debate birth control is now a political issue instead of a health issue. One would think that preventing more unintended pregnancies and abortions would be more important, but this clearly isn't the case. If you're a pharmacist and have a problem with EC's and any other form of artificial contraception, then you're clearly in the wrong business. That is just my personal opinion on the issue. It is not fair that a pharmacist's moral beliefs are more important than that of a woman and her doctor.