Sunday, April 02, 2006

Pro-life protests = Good for Choice!

There is only the illusion of choice in this country. We are told, as women that we have rights to control our reproductive destiny but...

--Doctors can refuse to prescribe birth control, tell our rape victims about Emergency Contraception.
--Pharmacists can claim "right to refuse" and not fill our birth control or E.C. (which is NOT the same as the abortion pill).
--Insurance companies can refuse to cover women's contraception (even though they cover Viagra). They tell us that "fertility is normal" or "they don't want to be in an ethical firestorm."

Some women are lucky enough to have a Planned Parenthood clinic nearby. However, even these women can't access the medical information they need without being harassed.

There is a man who is harassing women in my own home state. He sits in wait outside the Fargo, North Dakota women's clinic. He snaps pictures of women and men who enter the clinic. He also takes pictures of their cars and license plate info. He posts this information on a website. He claims these people are there for the purpose of abortion --which may or may not be true.

When possible he will snap photos of nurses' ID badges so he can also post a name. This sickening site goes on, even though hundreds, including myself have emailed the blogging host asking it to be removed for the safety and privacy of the men and women using the clinic. I was told, like all the others, that there was nothing to warrant the removal of this site. So it goes on....

If you'd like to tell this man exactly what you think of his work. E-mail him here...

It seems to me we can't guarantee women anything. Not information, access to pills, coverage for pills or even privacy when it comes to meeting with their doctors. SO WHAT IS THE GOOD NEWS?

Planned Parenthood has come up with a fabulous idea. Last year on Good Friday the St. Paul clinic was swamped with over 1,000 anti-choice protesters who harassed nurses, doctors, patients and blocked doorways. This year we say -- THE MORE THE MERRIER!

Check out this IDEA

I will be donating 10 cents per protester and am hoping for a turnout of a least 1000. So, to the anti-choicers: I do not deny your rights. Please, bring your pictures of bloody children and scream "Repent," block our doorways because for every one of you, some more of my tax deductible donations filter to the cause you so despise.

Finally Everybody wins!


Anonymous said...

I am truly amused by this post, you say that doctors can refuse to prescribe birth control, like there is a problem with that. Why can't a doctor have an opinion that contradicts yours, one that might prevent him from being sued, or harming the patient. It is ~his~ opinion. I don't see this as a problem for you anyway as there are thousands of doctors who do prescribe contraception. If you think that having thought police chasing doctors who have opinions that are not correct in your eyes is a good thing, you might think differently if you have a hard to diagnose disease and all the doctors can only have the same opinion due to constraint by law.

Just go see another doctor, that one is obviously not for you. No big deal. Same goes for pharmacists. If they don't treat you right take a picture of their business and post it on the internet and make fun of their closely held religious beliefs.

As a matter of fact you should contact your congressman about getting a law passed that prevents citizens from becoming pharmacists and doctors if they practice an "unapproved religion". That would be fun to watch!

As for the insurance companies covering Viagra but not contraception, just buy your contraception at the drug store, it is not a big deal. If you or your employer buy insurance and it doesn't cover it then it is probably cheaper than if it did. The money comes out of your pocket one way or the other. Please don't make it a law that I have to pay for something that I will never use.

By the way, I think it is a poor policy to pay for Viagra, from what I have seen, some of the people for whom it is provided for free or cheaply, are getting it just to resell as a recreational drug. This costs everybody in the plan.

As for getting harrased in the pursuit of information, I would suggest that the internet is a great place to get information, not only is it cheap but you can get answers that make you happy rather than the real answers that might include taking personal responsibilty for your own destiny. Yep just like PP.

As for the whacko that is on a personal mission to out people at abortion clinics, well the same laws that allow you to have an opinion and post it publicly, protect him as well.

Welcome to America.

Starr's World said...

KUDOS!!! love your site! GO PRO-CHOICE GO!!!!!

Tobes said...

Doctors can have opinions but when they refuse to prescribe a patient drugs due to a moral or religious belief and NOT a valid medical concern then THAT is a problem. You act like it's no big deal and say "women should just go to the next doctor down the road or the next pharmacist." That is unacepptable.

A married friend of mine has to drive an hour to visit her doctor because the small town she lives only has one doctor and he is Catholic. He refused to give women birth control EVEN THOUGH my friend has polycystic ovary syndrome and needed birth control for serious health reasons.

Same goes for women who cannot afford to drive to the next pharmacy which in some cases may be hours away.


Covering birth control is a must for insurance companies. To not do so is prejudice against low income women who cannot afford to just "buy it at the drug store." Women have many valid health reasons INCLUDING family planning that warrant health insurance coverage.

I do not know your gender but you tell me, "Please don't make it a law that I have to pay for something that I will never use."

Does that mean that I as a woman shouldn't pay for anything prostate cancer related, or testicular cancer? Of course not. Birth control is not a minority group interest-- it's a health interest for women and the partners they are with.

Of course people have a right to stand outside women's clinics and protest. I am clearly not saying they don't. What they SHOULD NOT have a right to do is post people's faces, names, information about their car and where they are going and their car's license plate number. This amounts to stalking, harassment and endagering people seeking valid, legal medical treatment.

People have a right to privacy regarding their medical information. And it is slanderous for this website to claim that everyone entering the clinic for an abortion when clearly this clinic offers physicals, birth control and other appointments.

To argue that we cannot expect better protection from stalkers is preposterous and truly un-American.

Adrienne said...

I've got a hypothetical for you.

Say there this police officer, we'll call him Joe. Well, Joe belongs to a certain sect of religion that teaches, believes, and practices the worship of wild animals. And lets say that John Doe one day calls up Officer Joe because a pack of wolves is on his farm, eating his livestock.

By the time Joe gets out to the farm, the wolves are have John Doe cornered and are ready to attack. Well, Officer Joe knows full well what he has been trained to do, and what he is SWORN TO DO... but instead, he sits back and watches, shrugs and shakes his head.

"Sorry," He says. "But I have the right to refuse service if it goes against my morals."

Now, obviously, we would think this guy was nuts! Completely crazy. And unfit for the job that he holds. We'd run that guy out on a rail, wouldn't we?

Does that sound extreme? Not really. Not when you consider the thousands of women who die or whose lives are seriously and detrimentally altered because they were refused contraceptives.

Doctors are sworn to do what is in the best interest of the patient. That's what their entire job is about.

You guys would be singing a different tune if the big thing right now was doctors refusing to give men Viagra-- which is in no way a necessary drug.

It baffles me why Pro-Lifers wouldn't be one hundred percent behind contraception being available to everyone.

Anonymous said...

Tobes I guess having to drive an hour to see the doctor of your choice sounds like an unbearable burden, but I grew up in a small Texas town with no doctors and we drove over an hour to buy groceries and see the doctor etc. If it would have become a big deal I am sure we would have moved. Small town life has many good points and some bad. If the bad overtakes the good you move. I did. As for your pharmaceuticals, mail order is great and cheaper too. You want to live in a small town you just have to adjust. You probably don't have a 45 minute commute to work everyday either, so some good some bad, But definitly not a problem that needs a law to fix.

As for covering birth control being a must for insurance companies, I can't understand why you would want that. You are saying that if someone buys insurance that it must cover birth control. That is not even the purpose of insurance. Insurance is meant to cover costs that are unexpected or extreme. You pay for insurance and they take the money and invest it and pay out claims, they have a large pool of clients that spreads the risk and they make money and when the time comes that you have a claim they pay it. If you want something covered like birth control you have to pay for it. And I can't stress this enough "You Pay For It" whether you are paying the insurance company or the pharmacist you pay for it. The money to pay for birth control does not just appear out of thin air. Someone pays.

I think what you are really saying is that you want "free" health care.
As in socialized medicine. Of course you pay for that as well if you have a job. In fact then you even get to pay for the people who don't have a job. I have lived with socialized medicine in the military and it really doesn't work the way you might think. You wake up sick one day and think you need to see a doctor, well get in line, you can see a doctor in 3 days. Need a cat scan? Oops all booked up this month. Want to see someone who gives a crap about you? Sorry those guys are in private practice, you get the guy 2 weeks out of school and is looking for someone to "practice" on. And gee you can't sue them either, because the wonderful congress passed a law preventing that little budget breaker.

When I said "don't make me pay for something I will never use" I wasn't making a statement saying I am male therefore I shouldn't have to pay for female specific treatments. I am saying that when I am buying my own insurance then let me tailor it to what I want to buy not what you demand I purchase.

Tobes I think you are turning a blind eye to the fact that what you want costs money and someone has to pay. It is -you- that has to pay ultimatly. Whether it be through lower wages or higher costs in bought goods or services, or taxes.

The most efficient way to get what you want is to just buy it. Understand when you go to the store and buy a product, in the price of that product is the wages and benefits of all the workers who were involved in its production. You are helping pay for their healthcare. If you demand that something be added to everyones benenfits then the price of everything goes up or wages go down which is in effect the same thing.

Or if you demand too much, then the benefit goes away completely.

Adrienne, I liked your wild animal hypothetical :) but the same principle applies. If I am that guys boss not only will he not have a job the next day I will make sure that it is the paper the next day that he no longer works for the police. If someone doesn't do the work the way you want them too then get rid of them. Same with doctors, if they have whacky views that don't coincide with yours then get another.

The whole idea of making doctors do things that go against their closely held beliefs is absolutely ridiculous really. If people are willing to die for their religious beliefs then what the heck do you think they would do to you if they were required by law to do the things that they believe would condemn them to hell? We are very lucky that the doctors now can be upfront about it and say "Sorry I won't do that because it goes against my beliefs"

The alternative might be for your friend to wake up from emergency surgery with her ovaries removed.

Tobes said...

Anonymous. First and foremost I want to thank you. Although we have profound difference in opinion, I am really enjoying our discussionn and appreciate that you have been so respectful... although not quite sure what you mean about waking up with your ovaries removed....

I don't want free healthcare. I'm not that well educated on healthcare but I know the Canadian system has a lot of problems but then again, so do we. I don't propose to understand how to solve them, although this discussion has made me want to learn more, I do understand the vital importance of contraceptive coverage for women.

It wasn't too many years ago that women were fighting to have mammograms covered by insurance. My insurance company even covers treatment for alcoholism in most of their plans. And yet they don't offer a plan that includes family planning or conntraception.

Contraception WILL ADD to the cost of premiums. If there is one thing I remember from high school economics, it's that "nothing is free." Someone has to pay the price. And yes the amount people pay will increase but it's the right thing to do and all that I have read indicates that in the long run, it will save insurance companies many.

Contraception prevents unplanned pregnancy. Unplannned pregancy costs major money.

I had to think long and hard about the next statement. People have the right to practice religious freedoms. But if someone feels so passionate as a doctor or pharamcist that their religious beliefs are going to interfere, they shouldn't be in the profession. I see major problems with saying, "Oh that goes against your beliefs, okay then."

What happens when emergency room doctors let a gay man bleed to death? What if they say, "We knew he was gay and our religion says those people should burn in hell?" Do you not see a big problem with that.

Doctors have rights but patients have major rights. It's not easy to just go get another one. My friend didn't move because her husband had a secure job in her hometown and her family was there. She should not have to move to expect adequate and judgment free healthcare. Not only that but I have been informed that her insurance company would only pay for her in-town doctor. So even if they could "just go see someone else" -- it's not that easy.

I find it so funny that we tell women.

Just move to another town if you want another doctor

How about we say to doctors...

Hey, why don't you just move to another profession?

Anonymous said...

I guees I should explain the "ovary removal" comment since it seems to not be obvious.

While in the military I cut my finger rather badly late on a Saturday night while on duty. I asked the duty driver to give me a ride over the the Navy hospital so I could get it sewn up. The corpsman was irritated about being woke up in the middle of the night but he proceeded to deaden my finger for the stitches. He stuck me and there was a whole lot of needle and not much painkiller, I was amazed at how much pain he could deliver just by moving that needle sideways. Then he left and went to get something to eat. When he came back there was not a bit of deadning left in my finger. When I mentioned this he smiled and said he could deaden it again or just stitch it up with no deadening...the pain would be about the same either way. I just took the stitches and left, but I did learn a bit about just how misery someone in a position like that can deliver.

To try and make a doctor do something that goes against his beliefs is hard to do. I suspect the doctor could run tests and and come to the opinion (and back it up) that your friends ovaries need removing rather than birth control. I didn't look up that particular affliction to see if removing the ovaries is even a viable treatment but you get the idea, he can "make bad things happen". Especially if you have some kind of whacky insurance that only lets you use one doctor. The solution sounds easy "just make them do it" but the unintended consequences are what kills ya.

I don't think that todays America is going anywhere near where you can tell someone to directly go against their religious beliefs with the possible exception of christian beliefs. Airlines serve kosher meals and we can't have a morning prayer at school lest someone be forced to observe another pray to a god they don't recognize.

If our society decides that a requirement for being a doctor is to be willing to prescribe birth control when asked for it, then I think it sets a dangerous precedent. The next thing that could happen is to require a doctor to offer euthanasia as a treatment option. Far fetched yes but what is the difference? It would become not the doctor deciding what is your best option but what society wants.

I am really on your side about the whole birth control issue, my insurance covers it and I am glad it does but I would never require it to be covered. I would never ask a man who truly believes that he is taking a life in the eyes of his god to do just that as part of his daily routine. And I wouldn't deny a man who cares so deeply about human life the opportunity to become a physician.

An ER doctor who does not provde care to a bleeding man is not the same as a doctor not writing a prescription for contraception. The woman wanting contraception can go down the street and get it while the bleeding man would die walking down the street.

I know you are trying to make the point that it might be inconvenient or costly to buy contraception, but in the big scheme of things it is a minor irritation at best. I would suggest that your friends husband take her dilemma up with the powers that be at his job and tell them that access to only one doctor in the nation and him being a catholic and not willing to provide contraception isn't cutting it and ask that the coverage be changed, the provider be changed, or coverage be dropped for him and give him a raise that equals the cost of the insurance.

I should mention that when my oldest daughter was growing up and started taking birth control that we paid for it out of our own pocket, even though my insurance would have paid for it, because she was young and the insurance claims went through many hands at my company. Many gossipy hands that is to say. Anyway it is not like I have never paid for contraception. It is just a cost like vitamins.

Adrienne said...

I am so excited to have someone speak that isn't trying to be jerky-- but I do want to point out that a single woman on welfare with three children is probably hard pressed to put food on the table, much less provide for her own contraceptives, even if they are just like buying vitamins. And I agree that it isn't 'fair' for us to pay money for people that are 'taking advantage' of the welfare system or insurance-- BUT-- it isn't those children's fault, either, and it is their quality of life that woudl be severely altered if she continued to have children.

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