Smile Politely

Sell crazy somewhere else

Last week I sincerely felt some of my personal freedoms were violated. I went to my doctor of two years who has prescribed me birth control on a couple of occasions – a doctor of medicine – the only female doctor in the local area available to me through my insurance. I simply requested refills on my allergy medicine and my birth control, at which point she informed me that she was unable to write me a prescription for birth control because Provena is a faith-based organization that would not allow her to write birth control prescriptions.

I kid you not.

Naturally I was irritated and inquired as to exactly why, at which point she relayed to me that the folks at Provena think the pill is akin to “abortion or something.” Truthfully she didn’t really sound sure nor did she appear to agree; however, since at least one other doctor was let go because she was prescribing the pill, my doctor was content to say that she could refer me to a gynecologist who could fulfill my needs.

Of course the first thing I did after I left her office was to check my driver’s license in order to ensure that I am in fact an adult capable of making decisions for myself regarding my own life. I then drove down the street and found an American flag to ensure that I was in the land of the free, the country where we value our personal freedom. Armed with this information I called everyone I know to yell at them about the most egregious thing to happen to me this month.

Examining both sides of this issue is clearly important since it is not only a highly emotional topic but, to those on the other side, an ethical one.

According to Illinois Insurance Facts, Birth Control Coverage FAQs (click here for a PDF published by the State of Illinois in June 2009)  insurance companies must pay for birth control according to the same rules under which they pay for any medication. Furthermore pharmacists must provide the birth control (including the morning after pill) under the same rules they would any other medication. Lastly and the most obviously, I’d like to point out for the record that abortion is legal in the State of Illinois.

Apparently some pharmacists feel that their personal morals and religious values are violated when they are forced to dispense the morning after pill and even birth control. Asking a person to violate their values and morals is generally reprehensible. Lawyers are not forced to represent clients they know to be guilty. A conscientious objector rule even exists in the Army (essentially if its against your morals to kill people, you don’t have to do it). Chaplains don’t carry weapons. So how is it any different anywhere else?

Douche BagAnswer: because, we live in a free society. Pharmacists aren’t forced to work at any particular pharmacy. In fact, pharmacists were able to choose to become pharmacists. If they disagree fundamentally with modern medicine they are absolutely free to pursue a career in Christian Science. Their argument holds up until it is applied to EVERY OTHER MEDICINE. Some people struggle with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. What happens when PROVENA, or doctors, or pharmacists begin arguing that the only acceptable way to control these medical issues are with diet and exercise and they will not prescribe medication to control it? They use the “your body is a temple” argument for tattoos why not diet and exercise? Religious freedom has always meant the right to exercise your religion, not to impose it on everyone else. I love living in a country where we can feel safe from religious tyranny.

If we start allowing providers, doctors, and pharmacists to deny patients legitimate medical treatment, what is to stop a Ku Klux Klan member from becoming a doctor? What’s to stop him from denying medication to African Americans based on moral obligations? Clearly this is an extreme example but just consider that Matt Hale had a law degree and he was the leader of the World Church of the Creator.


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