And don't let anyone call it "an abortion pill." It isn't.
Open thread below....
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And don't let anyone call it "an abortion pill." It isn't.
Open thread below....
There need to be some improvements to Alabama's health education programs, and soon, because this little slice of inanity actually came from a female lawmaker.
Via Raw Story:
In a recent interview, state Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin explained why she was sponsoring House Bill 57 — The Women’s Health and Safety Act — which would “require clinics to follow ambulatory clinic building codes and make it a felony — punishable by up to 10 years in prison — for a nurse, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant to dispense abortion-inducing medications,” according to theMontgomery Advertiser.
“When a physician removes a child from a woman, that is the largest organ in a body,” the lawmaker declared. “That’s a big thing. That’s a big surgery. You don’t have any other organs in your body that are bigger than that.”
Worse yet, she's actually making progress on this bill, which is yet another back door attempt to bar women from seeking or receiving abortions of any kind. McClurkin has moved it through committee and it is up for a vote today.
My liver, heart, and skin are all very excited that we are now giving organs personhood rights, although the latter is slightly upset about losing out on its "largest organ in the human body" rep.
Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, who opposes the legislation because she is a smart lady, said she expects the bill, which is a mixture of old and new restrictions, to pass.
"They're drafting a bill on a subject they have no knowledge of," she said. "They've never been in a clinic. They don't know what the regulations are." (They also need to hop on the Magic School Bus for a refresher in how the human body operates!)
Yes, it would be helpful if they learned the regulations and maybe even understood basic biology and science before they do things like this. But then, that would be too sane for most of these crackpots.
Of course, it doesn't matter that the morning after pills don't cause abortion - they simply stop ovulation to prevent a pregnancy from occurring, or prevent sperm from reaching the egg. It's more important that elected judges not give voters (or the Catholic church) a reason to target them when they run again:
CHICAGO (Reuters) - An Illinois appellate court Friday affirmed a lower court finding that the state cannot force pharmacies and pharmacists to sell emergency contraceptives - also known as "morning after pills" - if they have religious objections.
In 2005, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich mandated that all pharmacists and pharmacies sell "Plan B," the brand name for a drug designed to prevent pregnancy following unprotected sex or a known or suspected contraceptive failure if taken within 72 hours.
Some anti-abortion advocates object to the drugs, which work by preventing the release of an egg, preventing fertilization or stopping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.
In 2011, an Illinois judge entered an injunction against the rule, finding no evidence that the drugs had ever been denied on religious grounds, and that the law was not neutral since it was designed to target religious objectors.
And how, exactly, is this to be implemented? If there are four pharmacists on staff and one of them has religious objections, that person gets veto power? Of course, this also applies to those who don't want to sell the pill to sluts. Why, if you worked hard enough, you can come up with religious reasons to refuse all kinds of medication! No medication to people with Type II diabetes, because gluttony is a sin. No pain killers for new mom with an episiotomy, because the Bible says women should suffer giving birth. And let's not forget people dying of cancer: No more morphine! God wouldn't want you dying one minute before your appointed time.
Personally, I think Jesus would be appalled.
This is absolutely crazy. These sex-obsessed busybodies need to get their noses out of everyone else's sex lives and just do their jobs - instead of trying to obstruct access to contraception and punish them with unwanted pregnancy. From Think Progress:
A Texas man has enlisted the ACLU to help him sue CVS for gender discrimination after a pharmacist refused to sell him emergency contraception.
Jason Melbourne had already visited four pharmacies in search of Plan B for his wife when he was referred to a CVS in Mesquite, Texas, some 15 miles away from his home. They had one box left:
But when he finally got there, the overnight pharmacist, Minni Matthew, told Melbourne she wasn’t going to sell it to him.In order for him to buy the meds, the pharmacist said, she’d need to talk to and see the ID of his wife, who was at home with their two young children. He asked why, and she pointed to the fine print on the medication’s box, which says it can only be sold to someone age 17 or older. Melbourne pointed out that he was well over 17.
“I’ve bought this plenty of times in my life, and it’s never been a problem,” he said. “Are you telling me every other place I’ve bought it from has been wrong?”Didn’t matter, Matthew said, since the medicine obviously wasn’t for him.“Why don’t you show me the law that says you can’t sell this to a man?” Melbourne replied.
The situation got worse from there. Melbourne put his wife on the phone and even Googled the medication to show the pharmacist there was no law against selling it to a man. But “she didn’t want to see it,” he said.
That’s when a male pharmacy technician informed Melbourne that they didn’t want to sell emergency contraception to men because they might be giving it to “rape victims.”
Jezebel notes that Melbourne’s ordeal happened around the same time that a Houston CVS store refused to sell another man Plan B. CVS apologized for that last month, calling it an “isolated incident.” It wasn’t.
In fact, in 2010 ACLU received reports that Walgreens stores in Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma were refusing to sell emergency contraception to men. Walgreens relented when the ACLU confronted them publicly.
Thank the FSM for Up with Chris Hayes. Where else will you find a substantive debate with civil, intelligent people on both sides of the debate as well as someone who was actually in the trenches of the FDA and understands principle stands--Dr. Susan Wood--on something like the Obama administration's refusal to go along with the FDA's recommendations of allowing Plan B to be an over-the-counter medication.
Digby watched the segment also and reminds us that this is EXACTLY what the Obama administration said they didn't want to do:
Obama had been in office less than two months when he ordered his science advisers to draw up the guidelines. He told government researchers gathered in the White House that he wanted to protect their work from political interference.
"It's about letting scientists, like those who are here today, do their jobs free from manipulation or coercion and listening to what they tell us, even when it's inconvenient, especially when it's inconvenient," he said.
It's disappointing, a not altogether unfamiliar feeling when looking at the choices made by this administration. But moreover, in the face of the incredible GOP dumbing down and science skepticism, the one place you'd think you could count on embracing of intelligence and nuance is a Democratic administration. No such luck: (h/t Digby)
I emailed this weekend with several experienced clinicians in this area. They report that Plan B has an award-winning easy-to-read label, that there are very few medical contraindications to this medication. One commented: “We seem to be saying that a young teen can increase her risk of becoming a parent (which entails lots of reading and complex tasks) but not read a label.”
She went on to note evidence of how poor access to care is for teens, how many teens present late for prenatal care, late for contraception following initiation of sexual relationships, and, yes, late for abortion if that is their choice. Plan B is designed for people who are motivated to prevent pregnancy, who should be supported and not hindered. This debate is especially ironic in light of evidence that teens who have had unprotected sex typically do not access emergency contraception, when these medications are free or distributed to them in advance.
As a father of two teenage girls, I share the view held by millions of parents that young teens are wise to wait to engage in sexual intercourse. I certainly understand the moral and political calculations that led Secretary Sebelius to decide as she did. Leaving aside any issues of unintended pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infection, I just don’t see that (say) 14- and 15-year-old girls derive much of value from many of the sexual relations they are likely to have. This is especially true when these relationships are conducted with older teenage boys or young adult men. My public health research judgment: many of these relations are pretty exploitative and crummy.
And that's all the more reason not to saddle these girls--because no matter how developed their bodies may be, they are still girls--with lifetime consequences for the sake of political calculations and playing to the lowest common denominator.
How the hell do you rationalize this? In a reelection campaign vacuum, that's how. Yes, of course, some young girls may not know how to read the directions -- but there are already plenty of dangerous over the counter drugs to which they have easy access. More importantly, young girls who are pregnant and delay abortion decisions often end up as mothers - which calls for a whole other set of mature decisions for which they may not be prepared:
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the FDA today on making the morning-after contraception pill available to teens under 17-years-old without a prescription. Of course, the pill itself has been controversial in the years since its introduction, so it's unsurprising that debate over whether to let minors use it would spur conflict. Still, The Associated Press calls it "a surprise move" that Sebelius would overrule her own experts.
The emergency pill, which prevents pregnancies after intercourse, is already available over-the-counter to those 17 and over, and the FDA had decided women younger than 17 were also able to make a decision whether to use it without a doctor's guidance. The statements from the two camps pretty much stick dryly to issues of whether minors are mature enough to decide such matters.
FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said today "there is adequate and reasonable, well-supported, and science-based evidence that Plan B One-Step is safe and effective and should be approved for nonprescription use for all females of child-bearing potential," but noted that Sebelius had disagreed.
Charles Pierce puts it this way:
This is all on Sebelius — and on the president for whom she works — because she overruled her own panel of experts, which those of us who know a little of the history of Holy Mother Church in this area know is never a good idea.
In 1968, Pope Paul VI was handed a report from his Pontifical Commission on Birth Control that explained, in detail, why HMC should change its position on artificial birth control. The pope threw out his commission's recommendations and issued Humanae Vitae, an encyclical that banned all artificial birth control and, as an added bonus, pretty much guaranteed that millions of American Catholics would never listen seriously to what any pope said about anything, but especially about what they did during sexy time. The subsequent revelation that HMC had been functioning as an international conspiracy to obstruct justice in regards to what its clergy were doing during sexy-time also did not help.
Stupid, Kathleen. And pointless. They're going to hate you anyway.