Posted by ken on October 27th, 2005 (All posts by ken)
Over at Bitch, PhD, here’s one of several posts expressing outrage that pharmacists are allowed to refuse to sell you birth control pills or emergency contraception.
As one who enthusiastically approves of any fight against religious wackos trying to use the power of the state to take away your rights to reject their religion and ignore its teachings, particularly religious wackos who have a nasty habit of blowing things up or cutting off people’s heads to get their way, I can’t help but be sympathetic.
But I have a couple of questions for our friends on the left.
Where did these pharmacists get their power? They’re not generally willing to blow things up to keep you from getting your birth control, so someone else must be using a threat of force to stop you from simply giving him the finger and going down the street to get your pills.
That someone else, of course, would be the government, which will send armed police to throw you in jail if you give your pharmacist the finger and buy your pills from someone who isn’t in the small licensed priesthood of pharmacists, or buy them at all without posessing a permission slip signed by a member of the small licensed priesthood of M.D.’s. This means that if the pharmacist exercises his judgement and decides not to hand over the pills, and you live in a town too small to support multiple members of this priesthood, you’re either driving to another town or you’re just SOL.
Now who’s brilliant idea was it to empower and direct the Federal Government to do this? Who came up with the plan to take away your right to choose and buy your own medicine and deliver into the hands of these priesthoods the power to allow or forbid your purchase of same? Who delivered into the hands of the government, and by extension the voters, the power to forbid medicines entirely, and to place other medicines off-limits to anyone who hasn’t made the proper supplications to an M.D. and a pharmacist?
Oh, that’s right, it was your side’s brilliant idea, signed into law by your hero Franklin Roosevelt.
Now, after you’ve delivered this power into the hands of the voters, you’re dismayed to find that there are voters that don’t think you should be allowed to have birth control pills or emergency contraception. They think the power of the state should be used to stop you from getting these things. There are pharmacists that think the same way, and voters who think they should be allowed to exercise this discretion while being protected from dissenting competitors.
I’m not too happy about that either. But what are you going to do about those voters? Kill them? Outvote them? (That’ll work great until they’ve outbred you for a few generations) Try to work up an even more convoluted principle that lets doctors and pharmacists treat us like the overgrown children you insist that most of us are but doesn’t let them refuse us birth control prescriptions?
Or are you going to join with some of those you affectionately call “wingnuts” and stand for the principle that, no, the government should not have the power to take away our medicine or use force to stop us from buying it or insist that a special class of people has the power to make all those decisions for us? Form a coalition of voters who hate the restrictions on birth control and voters who hate the restrictions on pain medicine and voters who hate the restrictions on experimental cancer therapies and voters who hate the restrictions on allergy medicine and voters who hate the extra cost the whole system imposes on everyone who needs medicine or medical treatment of any kind?
Hell, you might convince some religious wackos to give up their opposition to other people buying birth control in peace in exchange for cheaper medicines, quicker introduction of new medicines, and the right to treat their own conditions without other groups of voters having a say.
I think it’s worth a shot. Y’all with me?