Monday, June 12, 2006

Make the Bad Man Stop!

So Tom called last night:

Tom: Dude, you at home?
Me: Yeah, why?
Tom: Turn on CBS.
Me: What is that, channel 6?
Tom: Um, I dunno. I have satellite.
Me: What am I looking for?
Tom: Blogger fodder.
And he was right. It was really channel 3, but I figured that out soon enough. 60 Minutes was running a story on Plan B.

Plan B? you ask. What happened to Plan A?

Excellent question, my dear reader! Plan B is a contraceptive that, if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, will prevent an egg from becoming fertilized, therefore keeping a woman (or girl) from becoming pregnant. So, if, say, you and your boy-toy were having a roll in the hay, and "Whoops! Sorry, babe. Condom broke. But was it as good for you as it was for me?" You should be able to take this pill within 72 hours and know you won't be having any unexpected visitors drop in, say, 9 months from that point.

BENEFITS: If your condom breaks, if you are raped, if you are already raising enough kids to stretch your budget tighter than the grip of Mao over communist China, all you have to do is, at this point in time, call your doctor, get a prescription, and you can take this pill within 72 hours to prevent becoming pregnant.

SIDE EFFECTS: None. No one has ever died, no one has ever become sick, no one has ever experienced any averse side effects to taking Plan B.

PROBLEMS: If you can't get an appointment, therefore, a prescription within the 72 hour time limit, taking it is useless. You are pregnant. The drug has no effect on an already implanted fetus. And due to the fact that there are no side effects to the drug, that is why the drug maker, after multiple studies, asked that it be allowed to be sold OTC.

OVER THE COUNTER?: No. Why? Because Dancing Monkeys cronies in the white house, and one very irritating person with religious problems, think the drug will
  1. Make teen girls more promiscuous by making a contraceptive so easily available over the counter (Yeah, because condoms and such are so hard to come by)
  2. 1/10 of 1% of the time, the single-celled fetus which has already been fertilized every once in a blue moon is aborted, due to the pills' affecting the lining of the uterus to prevent an egg (fertilized or unfertilized) from settling there, and they consider this an abortion, which is presently a LEGAL thing for women to do.

You see, there is an abortion pill called RU 486 which everyone in the medical community acknowledges causes an abortion of an already fertilized egg. You need a prescription. No one has ever argued about that. The difference is Plan B doesn't and isn't intended to be an abortion pill, and most of the time, the pill won't cause an abortion, as that is not what is was designed for. It was designed so that, if something happens beyond your control, such as rape or other birth control failing, you can take this and know that you are going to be okay.

One of Bush's cronies decided it goes against biblical authority, that it is an abortion pill, and that he was going to pull all the stops to keep the FDA from making the pill available OTC.

From the article on 60 Minutes:

While most doctors do not consider that an abortion, anti-abortion-rights doctors do, such as David Hager, a gynecologist from Lexington, Ky., who won't prescribe Plan B for his own patients.

"One of the mechanisms of action can be to inhibit implantation, which means that it may act as an abortifacient," says Dr. Hager. He says abortifacient means it causes an abortion and that this medication may act to inhibit implantation.

In 2002, Dr. Hager got a call from the Bush White House asking him to serve on the FDA advisory committee charged with reviewing Plan B's over-the-counter application along with two other anti-abortion-rights physicians. But when Hager argued against Plan B at committee meetings, he didn't talk about abortion.

"I was concerned about 10, 11, 12-year-old girls buying this product," says Hager.

He raised moral questions. "I'm not in favor of promotion of a product that would increase sexual activity among teenagers," he says.

Hager speculated about an increase in sexually-transmitted diseases. "I'm saying that it is possible that with the use of Plan B the individual may put herself at greater risk," he says.

But the advisory panel reviewed 40 studies that refuted his objections and showed that Plan B does not lead to more cases of sexually transmitted disease, or more risky sexual behavior.

Even Dr. Hager admits Plan B is totally safe. The FDA says there have been no deaths, no heart attacks, no strokes and no evidence of misuse or abuse.

But he says one of his major concerns is that young women wouldn't go to their doctors if such a drug were readily available.

"If we approve this for over-the-counter sale, then what is that going to do as far as what I call access to medical care for younger adolescent women?" Hager asks.

Wood disputes that view. "Is this cutting the doctor out? Would it cut out their relationship?" she asks. "Well, in fact, I think there's strong argument that the physicians themselves want this product to be over the counter."

Wood says the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Medical Association have all endorsed making this product available over the counter. That includes pediatrics, meaning younger girls.

If Plan B is sold over the counter anyone--any age--could buy it easily in a drugstore, like cough syrup or bubble bath. A big part of this issue is whether pharmacies will stock it. What if they refuse to carry Plan B?

In a survey of drugstores in Kentucky, Dr. Hager's home state, the American Civil Liberties Union found that most pharmacies didn't carry Plan B; 83 of them said they would even refuse to order it for women with prescriptions. These include Wal-Mart, which has a nationwide policy against dispensing Plan B.

The American Civil Liberties Union got a prescription for a woman named Fran, and sent her to five pharmacies undercover. 60 Minutes went along with a hidden camera to see what would happen.

Only one pharmacy, Kmart, had Plan B in stock; another drug store offered to order it, but the pharmacist told Fran it would take several days before they could possibly get it.

Remember, it has to be taken within 72 hours.

At another store, Fran was turned down by a pharmacist who explained that she believes it's an abortion pill. "The morning after pill is after you have that fertilized egg, and that is a baby. You are not allowing it to implant. So it is considered abortive," the pharmacist said.

The next day, Fran and 60 Minutes went back to that pharmacy together and found the same pharmacist.

"Anyone can walk in off the street and we can refuse to fill a prescription," the pharmacists said. Asked whether a prescription could be refused on religious grounds, the pharmacists said, "On any grounds. Personal preference. Any reason, we can refuse to fill a prescription."

But the Kentucky state pharmacy board told 60 Minutes that pharmacists must have a professional medical reason, not simply a personal preference, to turn away a prescription for Plan B or anything else.

The pharmacy did offer birth control but the pharmacist did not consider Plan B birth control.
So, women's health comes down to the personal preference of pharmacists, doctors, and the like? What the fuckin' hell?!?!?! Are they going to raise their child by rapist? Are they going to raise your father's grandchild, and child, because the poor girl was raped by her dad or stepfather? Are they going to send money to the family who couldn't afford to have another child?

After all this, the drug company asked that it be sold over the counter with an age limit of 16 as the youngest you are allowed to buy it at, and the FDA still refused... even though the new rules met the concerns of their previous ruling. Why? They're still thinking about it...

You can't have it both ways, fundies. On one hand, you say you want less abortions. But then you say you can't teach safe sex, you can't dispense birth control, and you can't subsidize welfare and child welfare. You say you are a culture of life, but that's really only before birth and right before death, isn't it? Any other time, you blame the victim, tell them it's their fault, and to get a job at McDonald's, when even that doesn't pay enough to put their children in day care while they try to put food on the table.

Plan B is safe, effective, non-abortive birth control unless you count a single-celled amoeba as a fetus that will allow women who can't afford children to prevent having another one. It will allow raped women and girls and women who are victims of incestuous rape from carrying their rapists child. And don't most of you fundies say you are against abortion except in cases of rape or incest? Well, here's your chance to prove it.

Fucking hypocrites.

It doesn't even matter if you are against abortion. Not one iota. I don't care if you shout it till the cows evolve into 6 legged arthropods that swim in the sea, if you are against it, don't take it. Don't use it. But don't decide someone else's fate. Not only is it unAmerican, when has your God ever refused you a choice, huh? Has God ever said you can't? No. He says you shouldn't, and you'll pay the consequences if you chose wrong, but he never takes away your choice. I'm just arguing from your belief pyramid.

Abortion is legal. Birth control is legal. Plan B is simply another form of birth control. Don't believe it's moral? Don't use it. But don't fuck up someone else's life just so you can get a fucking fuzzy-warm feeling at night before you go to sleep. Lord knows you aren't the one who has to wake up at three a.m. to feed your rapists child.


The_Gay_Dude said...

That's right does come down to the discretion of the pharmacist, etc.....and there have been incidences over the past few years of rape victims being denied access to these drugs cuz of their moral convictions!!!!

DaBich said...

Strong post, Jason, good job. I didn't know there was a Plan B available, even tho it isn't allowed. That's just bullshit. Allow abortion, but don't allow this pill? WTF, what are they thinking with? Their dicks?? 'scuse the language, I get pissed off at times.

Kelly said...

You know, it's something like 50% of most "pregnancies" end in the first few weeks when they spontanously abort naturally, so I don't see the big deal. Most women just mistake it for a late period. Either way, it's a freaking microscopic dot in your uterus at that point.

Would this pill actually cause young girls to have sex? Hmmm...that's quite a powerful aphrodisiac.

And why did the self-proclaimed "closet Republican" call you about this? Do you guys like getting each other pissed or something?

Jason Hughes said...

Gay_Dude: True, is has happened. Thjey even had a story on 60 Minutes about a woman who was raped and beaten and sent to St. Lukes in N.Y. somewhere, and they didn't even offer it! They didn't even suggest the idea, and it is required by N.Y. law!!! Silly Catholics...

Dabich: Yeah, someone else told me they, too, didn't even know about Plan B, or even that it was somehow different form RU 486. Just more of Dancing Monkey's idiocy running rampant with our lives in ways he shouldn't. God, I hate that man!

Kely: Especially with today's pregnancy tests, like First Response and E.P.T.! Most women pre 1970 never even knew half the time when they had miscarriages! Today, they say there are more miscarriages than ever, but I attribute that more to knowing sooner and earlier than ever before as opposed to a higher quantity of them. I know, poor Adam probably just had a stroke reading about how many miscarriages God allows to happen, but hey? Shouldn't he take that up with God?

Thanks all for your thoughts and comments!

jen said...

Great post! Glad to see you saw through the fda's politicized move to make plan b an rx i/o otc product. Pharmacists shouldn't have been placed as pawns to deal with this in the first place. Don't you love it when the bush admin manipulates some "other" group to take heat for their religion, I mean policy.

-a pharmacist who will dispense EC any day of the week!

jen said...

Great post! Glad to see you saw through the fda's politicized move to make plan b an rx i/o otc product. Pharmacists shouldn't have been placed as pawns to deal with this in the first place. Don't you love it when the bush admin manipulates some "other" group to take heat for their religion, I mean policy.

-a pharmacist who will dispense EC any day of the week!