Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bush Administration Threatens Access to Pill

Per the Washington Post, "A Bush administration proposal aimed at protecting health-care workers who object to abortion, and to birth-control methods they consider tantamount to abortion, has escalated a bitter debate over the balance between religious freedom and patients' rights."

The Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing a draft regulation that would deny federal funding to any hospital, clinic, health plan, or entity that does not want to accomodate employees who opt out of participating in care that runs counter to their convictions, including administering/providing IUDs, birth control pills, and Plan B (the emergency contraceptive).

The draft is, of course and predictably, applauded by conservatives everywhere.

Meanwhile, those of us in the real world (family planning clinics, women's rights activists, most health-care professionals) acknowledge that such broad ideological language would only create more overwhelming obstacles for women seeking abortions and birth control.

For example, imagine an interviewee for a job at a pharmacy or Planned Parenthood. Imagine she is secretly an ideologue on a mission. And that mission is to pose as a women's rights advocate, when secretly she wants to accept the job, only so she can refuse to offer services like legal abortions or IUD insertions. Now that company is faced with either retaining that employee or losing all its federal funding.

And I can't even imagine a kick in the ovaries that a rape victim being denied Plan B by an ideologue conservative pharmacist must feel like.

All I'm saying is that a group of clueless-to-the-real-world conservative groups and politicians have no place creating laws that affect an already underserved REAL group of people--women who access clinics that rely on federal funding--in real ways.

Basically, are religious fundamentalists entitled to tell all these women how they can and can not use their bodies for their own family planning? Are we really going to turn into that kind of a country? Where our health-care and our health-care professionals are forced into accepting extreme religious fundamentalism that is detrimental to the majority of its people.

Instead of protecting these extreme fundamentalists, it should be a illegal for them as health-care professionals, to block or prevent access to legal birth control or abortion methods.

I will be praying to the Goddess tonight that this proposal is thrown in the toilet and shat on by the DHS.


John said...

Religious freedom, my ass.

Please show me where Jesus said that to follow him, one must refuse to serve or associate with those who do not meet his standards.