Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The right to refuse: this is the battle ....

Republicans are pushing their agenda by any means necessary into one of the most sacred and intimate rights of Americans: the right to seek health care.

Social conservatives are taking their dangerous, Puritanical inability to deal with sexuality issues and manifesting this insecurity into legislation that is hurting America in the most explicit way possible. New legislation is being considered in 18 states and counting to allow health care providers to refuse care based on their religious beliefs:

About half of the proposals would shield pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control and "morning-after" pills because they believe the drugs cause abortions. But many are far broader measures that would shelter a doctor, nurse, aide, technician or other employee who objects to any therapy. That might include in-vitro fertilization, physician-assisted suicide, embryonic stem cells and perhaps even providing treatment to gays and lesbians.

This is problematic for several reasons:

1) That “morning-after” pills cause abortions is not a religious belief: it is a demonstrably incorrect fact.
2) This is the Republicans’ skeleton key to unlock a Pandora’s box of discrimination against minorities of all kinds. This is the full-court press that could make by de facto reality what conservatives have been unable to do by law.

We’re turning the clock back to the ‘50’s and even further. What if the Grand Wizard becomes the only pharmacist in Middletown, Kansas? What if his religious beliefs strictly prohibit filling prescriptions for the ‘racially impure?’ This slope is beyond slippery: it’s a runaway freight train barreling off a cliff.

This could also enable the kind of grassroots revolution that conservatives have in the past been forced to manufacture: it plays to the lowest instincts of every citizen in America.

The Old Testament could become the health care law of the land in Red states
. It could push back life-saving advances and thus cost the lives of thousands.

This time they’re fortifying the barriers of care to the GTLB community with reinforced titanium.

This also highlights another prime controversy in sex policy: the “morning-after” pill (appropriately renamed the ECP, or Emergency Contraceptive Pill, for many reasons) must be made available over-the-counter. It still requires a prescription only because of the lowest and most undemocratic of Republican tactics. http://www.ioerror.us/2005/11/15/gao-fdas-plan-b-ruling-not-based-on-science/

That it is illegal is one of the brashest examples of the sheer idiocy and irrationality of social conservatives: if unprotected sex happens, or a condom breaks, the ECP is the last recourse for women to stop a pregnancy. Republicans figure that restricting ECP will mean that women will just have the child.

NEWS FLASH: This just means that more women will be having abortions. The more that conservatives restrict access to birth control, the more abortions will happen. It’s a simple equation: REPUBLICAN POLICY CAUSES ABORTIONS.

Making the ECP over-the-counter and truly accessible could conceivably prevent the majority of abortions in this country. http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_emer0.htm

Rather than making it over-the-counter, this pill could be made de facto illegal for much of the population. If it’s not taken within five days of intercourse it is extremely unreliable, and the above proposed laws would allow pharmacists to virtually eliminate access to the ECP, especially in rural areas.

Overall, these laws represent a major front in the battle between common sense policy that helps society and the most Americans, and the rule of a narrow, Puritanical minority moral code holding sway over the majority of Americans.

Join the fight and do not let Republicans make an end-run around the Constitution.

Posted by Matt Won at January 30, 2006 05:26 PM | Comment (1) Trackback (0)