wyrd thoughts: my other blog

"The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things...."

News and views about current affairs, religious freedom issues, and the fight against euthanasia. Also the latest about my cats, goats, sheep, geese and chickens, life in Menominee county, and whatever else is on my mind.

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Location: Wallace, Michigan, United States

"I'm Nobody, who are you?"

These blogs are the work of Nissa Annakindt, writer and farmer from Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

My poetry and prose have been published in: Struggle, Above the Bridge, HEATHENzine, Idunna, Marklander, Asynjur and PanGaia.

I also was editor/publisher of the Nine Virtues News in its print incarnation, which ran weekly for a while.

Contact me at: Nissa Annakindt PO Box 95 Wallace, MI 49893 USA

"My strength is the strength of ten, because my heart is pure."

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Must Pharmacists Perform Abortions?

Abortion is a morally troubling issue for many Americans. Advocates of legal abortion call themselves 'pro-choice' to indicate that it's not the abortions they are in favor of. But some pro-abortion advocates are not in favor of giving medical workers the choice NOT to participate in abortions.

Some pharmacists who are pro-life, for religious reasons, are not giving out abortifacient drugs. An abortifacient drug is one which causes abortions, and this class of drugs includes the famous RU-482 abortion pill, morning after pills, and ordinary birth control pills. (An IUD is another birth control method which causes abortion, but this is inserted by a doctor.) In addition to killing the embryo, these pills can cause harm to the women who take them.

Since birth control pills are a sacred cow to many--- even when they have been shown to have killed many women--- some are outraged over this and believe that pro-life pharmacists should lose their licenses over this. This is wrong.

Imagine this scenario: a conservative, anti-gay doctor claims he has a cure for homosexuality. It involves prescribing a heavy-duty anti-psychotic drug to the gay person. This drug may stop certain behaviors, but those on the drug develop tremors, flat affect, memory problems, and are unable to hold down any job except the simplist. A patient of this doctor goes in to get a prescription for this drug. The pharmacist on duty is a gay man (let's make him a conservative and deeply religious gay man.). He refuses to fulfill the prescription as he deeply feels it is immoral to damage a patient in this way just because he is gay.

I, being a gay person, would uphold this pharmacist's right. (I also uphold the right of the right-to-life pharmacists). Do we have any doubt, though, that the people that want the pro-life pharmacists to lose their job would protect the gay pharmacist? Do we further have any doubt that the very people who want to protect the pro-life pharmacists would want to pull the gay pharmacist's licence?

We need to encourage people with real moral values when they act on them. We need not agree with them one hundred percent. Aren't the pro-life pharmacists in this story a lot better than that pharmacist who watered down the cancer drugs to make money, possibly killing patients in the process?

I believe that legal abortion must be available because in the case of abortion, there are two human lives present. And in spite of all our medical advances, women can still die in childbirth. If doctors recommend abortion to preserve a woman's life or health, or if the woman has a very strong feeling she has to abort to save herself, I want this to be available. Casual abortion, on the other hand, is a different thing. It not only kills the unborn babies, it makes a negative statement about motherhood and therefore about women, since women alone can become mothers. It hurts women's rights rather than advancing them.

The sacred cow of birth control pills is the most casual form of casual abortion, since most people don't know they cause abortions. Even those who have heard this may believe that only abortion foes believe that, rather than it being an acknowledged medical fact that is kept quiet for political reasons. Many women who walk into a drug store with a prescription for birth control pills--- or even for a morning after pill--- may be women who believe that life begins at conception, women who would never knowingly have an abortion. Isn't it just to give at least a few of them the right to follow their beliefs by allowing pro-life pharmacists to keep their jobs and thus warn unsuspecting women?

Many women who have used birth control pills are in mourning for an unknown number of babies they have aborted over the years they've used the pill. Even if you believe that these early lives don't matter, shouldn't the women matter?