Where are the condom squads who go around making sure that every grocery store, drug store, and 24 hour convenience store stocks latex condoms and the appropriate lubricants, “at all times”? Condoms are a much more basic public health issue than Plan B, which only works (when it works) for about 5 days in the woman’s cycle.
Siricou Raven is keeping the conversation alive as to whether or not pharmacists should be forced to stock and dispense all legal medicines. She asks,
What is the difference between a pharmacist refusing to distribute contraception because it offends his own morality, and one refusing to dispense HIV medication because it offends his own morality?
Treating disease has never been controversial. Have you ever heard of a doctor or pharmacist who refuses to treat syphilis, gonorrhea or chlamydia? Have you noticed any that have ceased doing Pap smears since we learned that abnormal Paps are due to a Sexually Transmitted Disease, Human Papilloma Viruses that are only transmitted by sexual contact?
(I do know a pulmonologist – a lung specialist – who will not take on patients who smoke. I could draw all sorts of parallels between sex and smoking, but I’ll leave that to you.)
At issue is the very basic question is that of the “unalienable” individual right to liberty, expressed as following the conscience.
As Judge Lawrence wrote in the Injunction, the Washinton State law is very clear on the right to conscience and freedom to practice religion.
There is no reason to carve out contraception and “reproductive health” (a Newspeak term, if I ever heard one) as a special, protected class of medicines, devices and procedures.
For that matter, why on earth would any woman who doesn’t want to become pregnant have sex without two or more contraceptives in hand/body before the act itself and/or know her fertile periods? If men didn’t have the back up insurance of abortion, I’d bet they would be more careful, too. (Rape is an Emergency Room issue – the ER doc and SANE nurse can dispense and counsel on fertility risk, right along with prophylaxis for STD’s).
While I’m ranting:
Ethics lesson 1: Life trumps liberty, since pretty much everything else depends on being alive.
Ethics lesson 2: The only reason the State should force action from a citizen is in cases of life and death. Each law that is enforced puts the citizen’s life and liberty at risk, since the enforcement will involve the real and virtual guns of the State. There is a long history of recognizing the relationship between the right to own property and the right to liberty. If the State may take the property or restrict the livelihood of a person, the person is at risk of prison or hunger and is not free.
Ethics lesson 3: People who will do acts that they believe morally wrong for any reason other than to save lives (to stay out of jail, keep their jobs or avoid controversy) are either unethical people or insane. And I’m not too sure about the people who would force them, either.