Sunday, September 24, 2006

Emergency contraception and the war on women

As part of the American Taliban's war on women, it is getting harder and harder to get contraceptives of all sorts. But access to emergency contraceptives is especially hard to get, as Ohio resident Biting Beaver found:

"But see, the problem is that we have 4 doctors here right now but only one of them ever writes EC prescriptions. But see, the thing is that he'll interview you and see if you meet his criteria. Now, I called the pharmacy but I also talked to him and well....*clears throat* can come down and try to get it. You know, if you meet his criteria he'll give you a prescription, I mean, there's really no harm in trying." [...]

[...] "You know, you'll just have to have an interview with him and he'll see if you meet his criteria. He'll only be on duty until 2pm today though and you should ask for him if you decide to come down because he's really your only chance."

I sigh and thank him before hanging up. I know exactly what he was telling me. If I wasn't raped and wasn't married then too damn bad for me.

[...] I called every hospital in every surrounding county and none of them would prescribe me EC. Not even ONE. [...]

I found that the more hospitals and clinics and doctors I called the more ashamed I became. Yep, you heard right. I was feeling ashamed at being such an unworthy dirty whore. Well, at least in the eyes of all these hospitals and doctors and clinics. I cried, then I sweated, then I cried some more, then I called some more.


I have been asked about my sexual practices. Whether I'm 'monogamous' or 'in a relationship' if I'm married, if I have kids, how many kids I have, if I was raped or 'traumatized' but there wasn't ONE question about my health. Not one.

Thanks to BoingBoing.

That isn't to say that it is only male doctors and phamacists who are trying to roll the clock back to before safe, effective contraceptives were available. There is no shortage of self-hating women who think that sex is a sin that needs to be punished too. It was Biting Beaver's regular doctor, a woman, who refused to write her a prescription.

I've written about a similar story before.

This clearly demonstrates a particular mode of failure that free markets are subject to. It isn't common, and tends to happen only with so-called "morality" issues, but it can happen -- especially if people who hold a certain immoral viewpoint deliberately take jobs in the medical industry so they can force their immoral vision of pregnancy as punishment onto the rest of us. It needs no grand conspiracy, just a lot of like-minded people who are "trying to make a difference".

And unlike (say) vegans becoming butchers so they can preach to the meat-eaters, it isn't economically self-correcting. A butcher who doesn't sell meat for moral reasons will go broke and be replaced by a butcher who will sell meat; a chemist who refuses to sell contraceptives has a thousand other products to live off, the loss of a few products is only a small cost.

Incredibly, twenty-four percent of Ohio hospitals won't provide emergency contraceptives even to rape victims.

There was one small ray of sunshine in this lousy story: one of the blog readers wrote:

Everytime I hear a story like yours, it reaffirms my committment to see school through. I would be proud to be a pharmacist that women knew they could come to for help.

The more we shine light on the monsters, the more we encourage people to reject their toxic memes.

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