Honey, I didn’t tell you but….er…..um…..last night…..the condom broke!
Is PLAN B medication assisted infanticide? Is it an ABORTION! (OH THAT DREADED WORD!) Is an egg inside a woman’s body that has just had a sperm enter it a LIVING being? That is what a few pharmacists claim who have taken the state of WA to court and who have won their court case this week to essentially throw out the law from 2007 making it illegal for pharmacists to refuse to sell Plan B medication. According to Kristen Waggoner, the attorney for the plaintiff, regarding the 2007 ruling, “These regulations were not about access to medication. They were about appeasing the governor and Planned Parenthood, and a political agenda to stamp out religious objections to plan B.”
What IS plan B? In the document, you will read this little jewel: “There may be disagreement about the actual scientific operation of the drugs, or whether they are in fact abortifacients. The court did not admit evidence on either side regarding this issue, (WHY THE HELL NOT?) and instead accepted Plaintiffs’ testimony that their faith precludes them from delivering the drugs.” (BELOW the comic you will find the medscape mechanism of action of Plan B)
A pharmacist is now able to be a “conscientious objector” and refuse to sell this medication to a person, and would permit the pharmacist to get another pharmacist to do it. This can greatly affect the psyche of a person who goes to a pharmacy and gets a moral judgement passed on her. If one pharmacist has this ideology, another is to be working the same day to serve those who wish to buy this pill. There is however, NO enforcement of this, so pharmacies are able to work around this. Pharmacies are also permitted to not stock items which go against their religious or other morals.
Physiological Mechanism of Action for EC (Emergency Contraception)
The start of pregnancy is scientifically defined as implantation of the blastocyst in the endometrium of the uterus, an event that generally takes place 5-7 days after fertilization of the egg (Glaiser, 1997). There are three ways that hormonal EC may function to prevent pregnancy: delaying ovulation, preventing fertilization, or preventing implantation of a fertilized egg; the method of action depends on the part of the menstrual cycle the woman is in at the time of unprotected intercourse (Croxatto et al., 2001).
EC is not an abortifacient, and will not harm or cause teratogenic effects to an existing pregnancy (Glaiser, 1997; Croxatto et al., 2001). EC does not function in the same way as Mifepristone (also known as Mifeprex or RU-486), used for early first trimester abortions, which works by blocking the action of progesterone thus interfering with the establishment and maintenance of the placenta. Mifepristone also binds to glucocorticoid and androgen receptors and stimulates prostaglandin synthesis by early deciduas cells (Stewart, Ellertson, & Cates, 2004).
There was initially some concern that the use of EC might increase a woman’s risk for the development of an ectopic pregnancy, but a recent large scale review of the literature indicates that of over 33,000 women who used EC included in the studies reviewed, only 5 ectopic pregnancies were reported, which is the same or lower than the expected rate of ectopic pregnancy in the general population (Cheng et al., 2004; Farquhar, 2005).
Regarding defendant intervenors, from the document: “The Defendant-Intervenors are various individuals personally concerned about access to lawful medications in Washington. Two are HIV-positive individuals concerned that the success of Plaintiffs’ claims could result in the denial of lawfully prescribed and medically necessary drugs to combat their condition, based on the asserted religious or moral judgment of the dispensing pharmacist or pharmacy.” (and RIGHTLY SO!)
A dangerous precedence has been set here. interpretation of religion is only as good as the person doing the interpreting. This opens the doors for anyone with some type of moral objection to bring other cases before the court based on their personal beliefs, at the cost of people who may need urgent care. What will be next; Mormons or Catholics who refuse to sell condoms, or to refuse to sell AIDS medication to a person who has contracted HIV through drug use or related to a homosexual relationship? Will men who have particular values be unable to sell medication to women because they think women should stay home and not be out at stores by themselves? Will a Muslim be permitted to deny stocking lifesaving thyroid medication made from pigs? (OK, I think this medicine is HORRIBLE and that they should all be synthetic, but permit me the license just this once for artistic and educational purposes.)
You know, all this talk about morals and values and NOT about the actual mechanism of action of the medication have got me thinking. Maybe I too could be a conscientious objector. Maybe I could bring a lawsuit against the state for making me give Diabetes type II medication, or high blood pressure (hypertension) medications as I think they are a farce. I could say it is against my religion to sell these medications based on the fact that people DO not really need them, but instead need different eating habits. If I were to refuse medication to a patient, I would probably choose to refuse to sell diabetes type II medications, as well as cardiovascular medications, hypertensives, or any other number of medications that are just a pharmaceutical company’s wet dream, money making scheme. Instead, I would discuss with a patient how to change their lifestyle, and how to change what they ingest from dead animal parts, to living vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fruit. By doing just ONE day of this I am sure the patients’ blood pressure would begin dropping rapidly, and the DM type II would shape up within a month.
THERE ARE MORE THAN 7 BILLION HUMANS ON EARTH NOW. THERE IS NO EXCUSE TO CONTINUE PERMITTING A BUNCH OF OLD MEN WHO ARE THE LEADERS OF GOVERNMENTAL, RELIGIOUS AND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS TO DICTATE WHAT A WOMAN CAN DO WITH HER OWN BODY, NOR TO DEMAND THAT A WOMAN CONTINUE TO PROCREATE SO THEY CAN HAVE MORE SUPPORTERS.